FP7 Capacities project no. 262318

The overall objective of this project is to develop blood tests for the early detection of colorectal and lung cancer based on cancer-specific BARD1 isoforms. Colorectal cancer and lung cancer cause millions of deaths each year. Currently there is no suitable non-invasive method for the early detection of these types of cancer available. The tumour suppressor gene BARD1 (BRCA1-associated RING domain protein) is aberrantly expressed in several types of cancer and it will thus be used as a diagnostic target for early cancer diagnosis in blood samples. The tests developed in the course of this project will analyse BARD1 isoforms at two levels: the expression of isoform-specific RNA in circulating tumour cells (CTC) and the presence of isoform-specific autoantibodies in serum.

To reach these objectives, several technological challenges have to be overcome. Innovative methods for the isolation of CTCs in colorectal and lung cancer patients will be developed, the specific signatures of the BARD1 isoforms at both mRNA and autoimmune levels will be defined, and assays for the detection of these isoforms will be established, validated with clinical samples and tested for their marketability.

The results of this project will have extensive impacts. Not only more scientific knowledge on the expression of BARD1 isoforms in colorectal and lung cancer will be obtained and therefore the understanding for cancer will be improved, but also non-invasive methods for the early detection of colorectal and lung cancer will be made broadly available in form of commercial test kits.

Contact person: Christophe Bonny
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The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme managed by REA – Research Executive Agency http://ec.europa.eu/research/rea (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° 262318”.