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FP6

STROMA — Result In Brief

Project ID: 503233
Funded under: FP6-LIFESCIHEALTH
Country: Italy

Towards more selective anti-cancer treatments

The majority of cancer eradication strategies lack specificity, thereby affecting normal tissues as well. European scientists tackled this problem by devising novel treatment approaches that target the tumour stroma and vasculature.
Towards more selective anti-cancer treatments
Angiogenesis constitutes one of the main events that take place during tumour development. The newly formed blood vessels are required to transport oxygen and nutrients to the rapidly growing tumour mass. Exploitation of this property of tumours has emerged as a new anti-cancer strategy that is believed to have minimal side-effects.

With this in mind, the EU-funded ‘Selective targeting of angiogenesis and of tumor stroma’ (Stroma) project aimed to identify targets in the neo-vasculature and/or the tumour stroma to deliver potent bioactive moieties. Project teams started by identifying proteins over-expressed at neovascular sites and in the stroma of neoplastic lesions that could serve as cancer biomarkers.

Subsequent steps included the generation and validation of human monoclonal antibodies specific to these targets. A few of these antibodies were selected to be engineered into biopharmaceuticals and evaluated in animal models of cancer. More specifically, scientists investigated the selective localisation of these antibodies in the tumour vessels and stroma following intravenous administration.

The Stroma project made substantial progress in cancer therapy with deliverables showing considerable potential to be used for the treatment and therapeutic benefit of patients with cancer. At the same time, the consortium’s activities increased the competitiveness of the European pharmaceutical industry.

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