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FP6

TUMOR-HOST GENOMICS — Result In Brief

Project ID: 518198
Funded under: FP6-LIFESCIHEALTH
Country: Finland

Understanding tumour-host stroma interactions

Cancer development and growth – apart from genetic alterations – also depend on support from the microenvironment. EU-funded scientists dissected the pathways involved in tumour-host stroma interactions with the aim to identify disease biomarkers and develop novel anti-cancer treatments.
Understanding tumour-host stroma interactions
Interaction with stroma cells is central for cancer angiogenesis, cancer cell growth and invasion. Targeting of tumour stroma has emerged as an attractive approach for cancer therapy as stroma cells are genetically stable, and would not be expected to develop resistance to therapeutic agents. However, the development of such therapeutic strategies is hampered by the fact that the mechanisms underlying tumour-host stroma interactions are poorly understood.

With this in mind, the EU-funded TUMOR-HOST Genomics project aimed to discover and validate new targets for anticancer therapy, and new strategies for delivering therapy to tumours.

More specifically, project scientists planned to inhibit selected major cell signalling pathways in mesenchymal and hematopoietic cells by targeted lentivirus vectors and identify tumour-derived factors that lead to increased angiogenesis. The work plan entailed development of novel advanced functional genomics instruments, technologies and methods to study tumour-host interactions. The ultimate goal was to identify molecules and processes in normal cells which could be targeted by novel anti-cancer therapeutic agents.

For in vivo delivery of therapeutic agents into tumours, scientists developed targeted lentivirus vectors which would be tested in vivo in models of murine tumour growth and dissemination.

Collectively, the project findings not only provided important insight into the molecular basis of tumour-host stroma interactions but hold strong exploitation potential since such processes are essential for the growth and dissemination of any malignant disease. Translation of the generated knowledge into clinical practice will come as advancement to existing anti-cancer regimens.

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