Virtual Physiological Human NeoMark will record and combine heterogeneous clinical, laboratory, molecular and imaging data to develop a data integration environment facilitating multiscale and multilevel modelling.
Objectives of the project
The clinical problem
The continuous improvement in treatment protocols for neoplastic diseases has substantially increased the number of patients who achieve a complete disappearance of the disease after treatment. At this stage there are no clinical, laboratory or imaging evidences of the neoplastic mass, but there can still be invisible residual disease that can evolve overtime and metastasize. A strict follow-up is usually undertaken and adjuvant treatments are planned to reduce the risk of disease reoccurrence, however they have important side-effects that may harm also patients who are already completely recovered. Knowing in advance which patients have the higher risk of disease reoccurrence would be important to focus resources and initiate adjuvant treatments only in a limited, high-risk subgroup of patients and would allow starting an appropriate treatment in time with the potential to improve patient survival and quality of life.
NeoMark will pursue the identification of imaging and genomic/ proteomic markers aimed at modelling recurrence of neoplastic disease with two major clinical/scientific purposes:
1. identify subjects at higher risk of reoccurrence after reaching remission;
2. early diagnose the presence of a reoccurrence.
The technical target of NeoMark will be the development of two functional environments: one for the definition of biomarker profiles and one for the follow-up of the evolution of the disease.
Expected Results & Impacts
Oral cancer holds the eight position in the cancer incidence ranking worldwide, squamous cell carcinoma representing 5% of all cancers for men and 2% for women (WHO). Patients with oral cancer have to deal with the impact of the disease and its treatment on physical appearance and on the ability to eat and to speak, with a significant decrease of the quality of life. Despite advances in salvage treatment of patients with recurrent cancer, outcomes for re-treatment are generally poor. Hence the importance of the identification of specific “markers” for oral cancer whose appearance during follow-ups will enable early and softer interventions and decrease the risks of death.
NeoMark expects to develop a system able to early detect the “markers” specific for oral cancer and so enable:
• early and more specific diagnosis of cancer reoccurrences;
• more targeted and effective interventions based on the patient-specific disease profile;
• avoiding unnecessary treatments for patients at very low risk of reoccurrence;
• optimising the work of physicians and the usage of resources;
• improving the scientific and medical knowledge on oral cancer processes;
• improve patients’ quality of life;
• increase the life duration for patients with cancer reoccurrence.
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeCP - Collaborative project (generic)