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IMmune MOdulating strategies for treatment of MErkel cell Carcinoma

Objective

"Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a highly aggressive, often lethal neuroendocrine cancer of the skin associated with the recently discovered, common Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCV). With an incidence of 0.44 per 100,000 MCC is a very rare cancer. Notably, however, although MCC is 40 times less common than malignant melanoma, MCC has a dramatically higher mortality rate than melanoma rendering MCC to the most lethal skin cancer (37 versus 15 percent). This high mortality rate is largely due to the fact that to date none of the currently available therapeutic interventions is able to improve overall survival of patients suffering from metastatic disease. Consequently, new therapeutic strategies are needed for metastatic MCC. Since several lines of evidence indicate the outstanding immunogenicity of MCC, immune modulating treatment strategies are particularly attractive. IMMOMEC is a 5-year project to establish and investigate an innovative and effective immunotherapy for MCC, thus directly responding to the aims of the topic HEALTH-2011.2.4.1-1 Investigator-driven treatment trials for rare cancers.
IMMOMEC will develop a rational immune therapeutic approach for treatment of patients with MCC that is based on the targeted delivery of interleukin-2 to the tumor microenvironment. However, IMMOMEC will not only provide a new therapeutic option for MCC patients, but will also establish the relevance of immune modulating strategies to treat solid cancers in general, establish and validate new tools to monitor patients receiving such therapies as well as compile prognostic and predictive biomarkers to individualize immune modulating therapies. Moreover, IMMOMEC will introduce a new immune modulating therapeutic produced by a European SME, which also holds the intellectual property rights.

Objectives of IMMOMEC:
I. Establish an effective therapy for Merkel cell carcinoma evaluated in a multicentre randomized clinical phase II trial
II. Establish the feasibility of effective immunotherapy for solid cancers
III. Identification and characterization of HLA-restricted immunodominant T cell epitopes specific for MCC to monitor the immune modulating effect and to develop specific therapeutics
IV. Identification of prognostic and predictive biomarkers, i.e. search for markers foretelling the course of disease or treatment response in MCC, respectively
V. Establish a European network for research and therapy of MCC"

Call for proposal

FP7-HEALTH-2011-two-stage
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

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

Coordinator

MEDIZINISCHE UNIVERSITAT GRAZ
Address
Auenbruggerplatz 2
8036 Graz
Austria
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 542 698,86
Administrative Contact
Juergen Becker (Prof.)

Participants (10)

PHILOGEN SPA
Italy
EU contribution
€ 2 171 625
Address
Piazza La Lizza 7
53100 Siena
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Chiara Falciani (Dr.)
IMMATICS BIOTECHNOLOGIES GMBH
Germany
EU contribution
€ 858 712
Address
Paul Ehrlich Str 15
72076 Tuebingen
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Mark Bleckmann (Mr.)
REGION HOVEDSTADEN
Denmark
EU contribution
€ 503 948,46
Address
Kongens Vaenge 2
3400 Hillerod
Activity type
Public bodies (excluding Research Organisations and Secondary or Higher Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Uööa Hoy Davidsen (Dr.)
ASSISTANCE PUBLIQUE HOPITAUX DE PARIS
France
EU contribution
€ 189 546,46
Address
3 Avenue Victoria
75000 Paris
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Anne Skrobot (Ms.)
FUNDACIO CLINIC PER A LA RECERCA BIOMEDICA
Spain
EU contribution
€ 189 546,46
Address
Carrer Rossello 149
08036 Barcelona
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Pastora Martinez Samper (Ms.)
CHARITE - UNIVERSITAETSMEDIZIN BERLIN
Germany
EU contribution
€ 189 546,46
Address
Chariteplatz 1
10117 Berlin
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Eveline Fräßdorf (Ms.)
EBERHARD KARLS UNIVERSITAET TUEBINGEN
Germany
EU contribution
€ 189 546,46
Address
Geschwister-scholl-platz
72074 Tuebingen
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Claus Garbe (Prof.)
THE UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM

Participation ended

United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 1 424,76
Address
University Park
NG7 2RD Nottingham
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Jill Burton (Mr.)
UNIVERSITAETSKLINIKUM ESSEN
Germany
EU contribution
€ 691 837,60
Address
Hufelandstrasse 55
45147 Essen
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Sebastian George (Mr.)
Narodowy Instytut Onkologii im. Marii Sklodowskiej-Curie - Panstwowy Instytut Badawczy
Poland
EU contribution
€ 189 546,48
Address
Ul. W K Roentgena 5
02781 Warszawa
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Piotr Rutkowski (Prof.)