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Identification of molecular signatures determining early metastatic spread of lung carcinomas in women


Lung cancer is the most common lethal cancer type in the world, causing approximately one million deaths a year. In most cases mortality is linked to metastasis. Epidemiological data indicate that women are more susceptible compared to men for contracting lung cancer. Additionally, women tend to get mostly pulmonary adenocarcinomas, which is harder to detect by even invasive diagnostic techniques such as bronchoscopy. Reasons for these gender differences are largely unknown.Bone marrow is a common homing or gan for early disseminated lung cancer cells, with up to 50% of tumours not showing any metastases in lymph nodes still having micrometastatic cells in their bone marrow. These cells can be detected by sensitive immunocytochemical assays and their presence predicts the subsequent occurrence of overt metastasis. Recent results have shown that systemic dissemination of breast tumour cells via the blood circulation appears to be an early and selective process associated with specific molecular signature of the primary tumour.In the proposed project, we plan to use lung cancer as a tumour model, and perform a genome-wide expression and genetic screening of primary tumours and relate our findings to the capacity of early tumour cell dissemination. We will focus o n a well-defined group of female smokers because so far little is known on the particular biology of lung carcinomas in this growing group of patients. By comparing carefully selected tumours with and without micrometastasis, we expect to identify genetic determinants and regulatory pathways driving metastatic spread of epithelial tumours. We will use mainly different state-of-the-art high-throughput microarray-methods in combination with novel analysis for micrometastasis detection. Finding those patients whose tumours will most likely spread before the manifestation of distal overt metastases would be of great importance in the design of targeted treatment of these patients.

Field of science

  • /social sciences/sociology/demography/mortality
  • /medical and health sciences/clinical medicine/cancer

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

EIF - Marie Curie actions-Intra-European Fellowships


Martinistrasse 52