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A new European Consortium to improve therapeutic guidance for patients with metastatic breast cancer

Press Release   •   Dec 04, 2013 09:39 EST

The CareMore* Consortium is a collaborative effort to advance diagnostic systems for therapy guidance in patients with metastatic breast cancer. The consortium associates five European partners from both academia and industry, and launches with a € 5M grant via the European Commission´s 7th Framework Program (FP7**).

Today's treatment of metastatic breast cancer is guided by characterisation of the primary tumour, while 90% of deaths due to breast cancer occur as a consequence of metastases. In up to 50% of all breast cancer patients the molecular profile of the metastasis is different from the primary tumour that is currently guiding treatment. The CareMore project will develop and clinically validate a system to guide treatment decisions in women with metastatic breast cancer based on molecular characterization of circulating tumour cells (CTCs), used as proxies for the metastatic tumour. 

Two unique methods will be combined, single cell-based in situ detection of genetic mutations and protein expression and improved CTC sampling and identification, provided by the participating small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) Olink Bioscience and CytoTrack. Together with leading academic scientists at Erasmus MC Cancer Institute and Stockholm University and Philips, a strong industrial partner and leader in diagnostic imaging, the consortium aims to establish the clinical utility of the proposed approach.

"We are very pleased to have gathered such a strong team.” said Dr. Mats Gullberg, project coordinator for CareMore and Chief Technology Officer at Olink Bioscience. "The project offers a tremendous opportunity to advance our current ability to choose the correct treatment for each individual patient. While we anticipate heavy competition from standard immuno-staining methods we see a distinct competitive advantage in scoring genetic parameters in the same cell simultaneously. In view of the evident need of visual inspection for CTC identification, our proposed in situ molecular characterization assay has the potential to provide the most robust and cost effective approach for companion diagnostic based on CTCs."

A successful outcome of the CareMore project approach is expected to be readily replicated to other cancer types in which molecular classification is used for therapy guidance.

Consortium members
The project will be coordinated by Olink Bioscience (Sweden) with partners from the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden. The CareMore Consortium unites researchers from two SME’s, two universities and one large industry. 

CareMore is a three-year project running from the 1st of September 2013 until the 30th of August 2016 and is funded by the 7th Framework Program of the European Commission. In addition to the research activities, CareMore will be organizing meetings, workshops and will be present at a number of international conferences.

Members of the consortium:

  • Olink Bioscience (Coordinator, SME), Mats Gullberg, SE
  • CytoTrack , Tom Hede Markussen, DK
  • Erasmus MC Cancer Institute, Stefan Sleijfer, NL
  • Philips Electronics Nederland B.V. Reinhold Wimberger-Friedl, NL
  • Stockholms Universitet, Mats Nilsson, SE

Contact
Dr. Mats Gullberg: +46-70-9428520, Mats.Gullberg@olink.com 
Dr. Ida Grundberg: +46-18-4443994, Ida.Grundberg@olink.com
CareMore website: www.CareMoreCTC.eu

* CareMore is the acronym to the project´s full title “Cancer Responsiveness Monitoring based on Resistance mutations in CTCs”.

** FP7 is the short name for the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development. This is the EU's main instrument for funding research in Europe and it will run from 2007-2013.

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