European Commission logo
italiano italiano
CORDIS - Risultati della ricerca dell’UE

Development of small molecule inhibitors of circulating tumor cell clusters

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Cluster-Buster (Development of small molecule inhibitors of circulating tumor cell clusters)

Periodo di rendicontazione: 2019-05-01 al 2020-10-31

Despite the great progress that has been made in treating cancer, metastasis remains incurable. Metastasis accounts for 8 million deaths per year worldwide and no agents are currently available to prevent the metastatic spread of cancer. Our recent discoveries point to a pivotal role for circulating tumor cell clusters (CTC clusters) as critical mediators of metastasis, and targeting CTC clusters in preclinical models leads to a significant reduction in metastasis formation. Within the ERC PoC period, we achieved three significant steps forward. First, we validated our assay for the identification of cluster-disrupting drugs with additional patient-derived models. Second, we tested 4’000 selected drug-like molecules with potential activity on CTC clusters, chosen together with a consultant medicinal chemist. Third, we initiated a number of discussions with potential investors that are interested in our technology and generation of a spin-off company. Together, support from the ERC PoC has been instrumental to accelerate our efforts to identify new chemical entities with activity against CTC clusters, and to gain important connections for the setup of a new company.