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Developing high-thoughput bioassays for human cancers in zebrafish

Objective

Recently the zebrafish has emerged as a new important system for cancer research because the zebrafish genome contains all orthologs of human oncogenes and forms tumors with similar histopathological and gene profiling features as human tumors. The zebrafish provides an in vivo vertebrate model for identifying novel mechanisms of cancer progression and for development of new anticancer compounds in a time- and cost-effective manner. The ZF-CANCER project aims to develop high-throughput bioassays for target discovery and rapid drug screenings applicable in preclinical validation pipelines. Fluorescently labelled human and zebrafish cancer cells will be implanted (xenogenic and allogenic transplantation) into zebrafish embryos transgenic for a GFP-vascular marker and quantitative, multi-colour fluorescent intravital bio-imaging of tumour progression will be set up as the readout. Because of its amenability to genetic manipulation and optical transparency, the zebrafish is currently the only vertebrate model that allows the simultaneous in vivo imaging of all hallmarks of cancer progression including cell survival, proliferation, migration and induction of angiogenesis. The combination of visual, non- invasive monitoring in translucent host embryos with powerful RNA interference technology, successfully developed for human cancer cells will enable identification of novel targets in a wide variety of human cancers. Automation of these fluorescent readouts will accelerate the screening process with chemical libraries to discover new compounds involved in different aspects of cancer progression and inhibition. In the case study, a selected panel of genes and lead compounds will be screened on a high-throughput platform, possibly resulting in the identification of important anti-tumour drugs relevant for human cancer therapy. Fundamental knowledge, tools and technical expertise gained from ZF-CANCER will be commercially exploited by one company and two high-tech SMEs.

Field of science

  • /medical and health sciences/clinical medicine/transplantation
  • /social sciences/sociology/industrial relations/automation
  • /social sciences/sociology/social problems/migration
  • /medical and health sciences/clinical medicine/oncology/cancer
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/genetics and heredity/genome
  • /medical and health sciences/clinical medicine/embryology

Call for proposal

FP7-HEALTH-2007-A
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

CP-FP - Small or medium-scale focused research project

Coordinator

UNIVERSITEIT LEIDEN
Address
Rapenburg 70
2311 EZ Leiden
Netherlands
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 802 011,10
Administrative Contact
Ton Brouwer

Participants (8)

GALAPAGOS
Belgium
EU contribution
€ 409 800
Address
Generaal De Wittelaan L11 A3
2800 Mechelen
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Phia Van Zelst (Ms.)
ZF-SCREENS BV
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 285 000
Address
J H Oortweg 19
2333 CH Leiden
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Pieter Slijkerman (Mr.)
THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 300 000
Address
Old College, South Bridge
EH8 9YL Edinburgh
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Angela Noble (Ms.)
FUNDACIO PRIVADA CENTRE DE MEDICINA REGENERATIVA DE BARCELONA
Spain
EU contribution
€ 280 000
Address
Dr. Aiguader 88
08003 Barcelona
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Miguel Gomez-Clares (Mr.)
KONINKLIJKE NEDERLANDSE AKADEMIE VAN WETENSCHAPPEN - KNAW
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 300 000
Address
Kloveniersburgwal 29 Het Trippenhuis
1011 JV Amsterdam
Activity type
Other
Administrative Contact
Don Van Velzen (Mr.)
Klinik Max Planck Institut für Psychiatrie

Participation ended

Germany
EU contribution
€ 156 127,79
Address
Hofgartenstrasse 8
80539 Muenchen
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Birgit Knepper-Nicolai (Dr.)
BIOBIDE S.L.
Spain
EU contribution
€ 319 980
Address
Paseo Mikeletegi 58
20009 San Sebastian
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Carlos Iguiñiz (Mr.)
INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY AUSTRIA
Austria
EU contribution
€ 138 874,11
Address
Am Campus 1
3400 Klosterneuburg
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Bruno Woeran (Mr.)