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EU grant for targeted therapy in renal cell cancer

The European Union (EU) has granted nearly 6 million euros to the international EuroTARGET consortium to support the identification and characterization of predictive biomarkers for response to targeted therapy in patients with metastasized renal cell cancer. The five-year project, managed by the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, brings together 10 research institutes and 2 companies from 8 European countries.

The EuroTARGET consortium will create a standardized European clinical databank and bio-repository (DNA, serum and frozen tumour tissue) of a large series of patients with metastasized renal cell cancer treated with different agents. The researchers aim to identify a wide range of biomarkers, e.g. genetic markers, protein levels and kinase activity, for treatment response and toxicity in patients treated with sunitinib or sorafenib, the most commonly used drugs at this moment.

The integrative approach of EuroTARGET is expected to result in prediction of individual therapy response and resistance to targeted therapies. This will lead to optimal treatment outcome while reducing unnecessary drug use (or increasing doses in other patients). Furthermore, the results will allow a better understanding of the critical molecular and resistance pathways involved.

The EuroTARGET project focuses on the most commonly used drugs at this moment, sunitinib and sorafenib, in order to have their approaches benefit from homogeneous patient populations as far as possible. The researchers expect, however, that predictive biomarkers that will be identified in their project will also be predictive for new drugs that may become available, targeting the same pathways. Because EuroTARGET will recruit all patients with metastasized renal cell cancer, irrespective the drug that they will receive, the researchers will be able to change their focus to other drugs if needed.

idw :: 19.04.2011