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ERC

CANBUILD Report Summary

Project ID: 322566
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: United Kingdom

Final Report Summary - CANBUILD (Building a Human Tumour Microenvironment)

The aim of the CANBUILD project was to ‘grow’ a human tumour microenvironment in the lab. We focused on one specific tumour microenvironment, metastases of a type of ovarian cancer. Our plan was to first ‘deconstruct’ this malignant tissue in order to provide a ‘parts-list’ for the ‘construction’ phase and also to provide information that will allow us to test how well our models replicate the human tissue. The ‘deconstruction’ phase was successful and not only laid the foundations for the model development but provided new and unexpected insights into the development of metastases that may have implications to a number of different cancers. We then used this information to build 3D multi-cellular cancer models using cells obtained from cancer biopsies. These models can be maintained in the lab for several weeks and we have used them to understand the roles of different cell types in the tumour microenvironment, to learn more about ovarian cancer cell invasion and the regulation of extra-cellular matrix molecules involved in cancer progression. The cancer models we have developed are proving to be complementary to our mouse cancer models. On the basis of the work in this ERC grant, the P.I. has obtained research funding from other sources to continue to develop the 3D tumour microenvironment models over the next five years. The project has increased our understanding of human cancer biology as well our ability to find therapeutic strategies that attack the interactions between malignant cells and their supporting microenvironment.

Reported by

QUEEN MARY AND WESTFIELD COLLEGE, UNIVERSITY OF LONDON
United Kingdom
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