#mybest10seconds campaign

On the 28th of February 2019, EuropaColon/Digestive Cancers Europe (DICE), one of MErCuRIC’s Related Organisations launched a pan European Colorectal Cancer Screening Awareness Campaign: #mybest10seconds #ECCAM2019.

The aim of the campaign is to reach as many citizens across Europe in order to promote the importance of colorectal cancer screening for those over 50 years of age. So if this is you, then Get Screened… it only takes 10 seconds to take the test which could save your life!

If you are younger than 50 consider your family members, friends and colleagues. Visit the EuropaColon/DICE Official Campaign Microsite where you will find a symptom checker. If you are experiencing the symptoms mentioned, go and see your family doctor.

To reach their goal, they need our help. If you have any questions please contact them info@digstivecancers.eu 

For more information, visit:

Campaign Press Release

CRC White Paper

ECCAM2019 Memes

MErCuRIC Coordinator joins forces for Bowel Cancer Awareness Month 2019

Prof. Sandra Van Schaeybroeck from Queen’s University Belfast, the Coordinator of the MErCuRIC project will join researchers involved in the COLOSSUS Project to facilitate a public forum in Dublin on 30 April 2019. In Ireland, April is “Bowel Cancer Awareness Month”. The event: “Colorectal Cancer- How is research in Ireland addressing the challenges?” will take place at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) from 18:30- 19:30. Prof Van Schaeybroeck’s talk is entitled “Current treatment options and clinical research approaches“. Sandra will provide a clinicians point of view and discuss the personalized medicine approach to treating colorectal, or bowel cancer. Other speakers include Prof Annette Byrne, Head of the RCSI Precision Cancer Medicine Group & Coordinator of the COLOSSUS Project, Dr Ian Miller, RCSI Precision Cancer Medicine Group and Dr Verena Murphy, Translational Research Leader at Cancer Trials Ireland.  

One of MErCuRIC’s Related Projects, COLOSSUS is an EU-funded Horizon 2020 project that aims to provide new and more effective ways to classify patients with a specific type of colorectal cancer (microsatellite stable RAS mutant metastatic colorectal cancer or MSS RAS mt mCRC) and to develop better treatments for them. The ultimate goal is to deliver a personalised medicine approach for patients with MSS RAS mt mCRC that is currently not available.

For more information, details about the event and to register, please visit Eventbrite.

Partner UNITO adds to MErCuRIC list of publications

Two new research studies with acknowledgement to MErCuRIC have recently been published by our partners at the University of Torino (UNITO):

  • Truini A, Germano G, Bardelli A. Inactivation of DNA repair-prospects for boosting cancer immune surveillance. Genome Med. 2018 Nov 28;10(1):91. doi: 10.1186/s13073-018-0603-9. PubMed PMID: 30486892; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6260742.
  • Germano G, Amirouchene-Angelozzi N, Rospo G, Bardelli A. The Clinical Impact of the Genomic Landscape of Mismatch Repair-Deficient Cancers. Cancer Discov. 2018 Dec;8(12):1518-1528. doi: 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-18-0150. Epub 2018 Nov 15. Review. PubMed PMID: 30442708.

Congratulations to all researchers involved!

To read more about these and other MErCuRIC-funded scientific publications, please visit http://mercuric.eu/project/publications/

MErCuRIC progress and goals elucidated at EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium

MErCuRIC Coordinator Prof Sandra Van Schaeybroeck (QUB) and PI Prof Richard Wilson (BHSCT) presented recent project findings at the EORTC NCI AACR symposium in Dublin. This year’s meeting theme was “Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics”. The research poster entitled “MErCuRIC1: A phase 1 Multi-Centre Study of Crizotinib (cMET inhibitor) Combined with Binimetinib (MEK1/2 inhibitor) in Patients with Advanced Solid Tumours” was presented on Friday, November 16, 2018. Herein, the first results from the MErCuRIC dose escalation and dose expansion study of the combination of MEK and MET in RASmt colorectal cancer patients were presented. The poster (link below) also showed the first data on MET as potential biomarker using samples of the MErCuRIC clinical trial. Poster discussion with meeting attendees focussed on the importance to explore further mechanisms of response/resistance to this MEK + MET combination, using available clinical samples and pre-clinical translational studies.

Sandra Van Schaeybroeck commented: “I believe that we can learn a lot from the MErCuRIC clinical study. We want to nail down the role of MET, at gene, mRNA and protein level as a prognostic and predictive biomarker in early stage and metastatic CRC. We want to underpin mechanisms of intrinsic CRC tumour resistance to MEK and MET inhibition, that will inform future studies with MEK and/or MET inhibition, not only in CRC but also other tumour types”.

MErCuRIC EORTC-NCI-AACR 2018 Poster v0.5 SVS RHW

MErCuRIC consortia meeting hosted by UNITO, Month 60

The MErCuRIC team of researchers assembled for the Month 60 plenary meeting on November 8th and 9th in Italy. On the 8th the group was met at the Candiolo Cancer Institute (IRCCS) and on the 9th at the Molecular Biotechnology Center of the University of Torino (UNITO).

After an overview and report on the project progress by Coordinator Sandra van Schaeybroeck, Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), Kylie O’Brien of Pintail Limited reminded partners of upcoming and remaining management reporting obligations and deadlines. Usharani Wahengbam, of the University of Oxford, discussed the Phase I trial of the MEK1/2 inhibitor Binimetinib with the cMET/ALK inhibitor Crizotinib in mCRC+. Then, Manuel Salto-Tellez shared the latest in digital pathology from QUB, followed by an update on the optimized Agilent panel and validation. Federica di Nicolantonia of UNITO also updated the team on the genomic analysis of tumour DNA (ctDNA) from MErCuRIC patients. As for the biorepository and sample distribution, Coordinator Sandra van Schaeybroeck led a discussion on the further analysis of the biosamples from MErCuRIC. BHSCT’s Ruth Boyd and Pintail’s Kylie O’Brien brought the group up-to-date with the dissemination work on MErCuRIC including the Public and Patient Involvement (PPI) in research activities. Vlad Popovici, Masarykova Univerzita presented the latest bioinformatics analysis and status of the data management system. There were also sessions for focussed discussions on the pre-clinical and translational advances and abstracts for future conferences and publications. The action points were reviewed and discussed before the end of the meeting.

Thanks to our hosts UNITO for the warm hospitality!

Ed Goodall, NICRCF reports as a EuropaColon Patient Advisor

Northern Ireland Cancer Research Consumer Forum (NICRCF) member, Ed Goodall, was elected in 2018 to the Patient Advisory Group of the EuropaColon organisation which incorporates researchers and healthcare professionals from nearly 40 countries.

The EuropaColon Patient Advisory Group held their most recent meeting in October 2018 in Munich in conjunction with that of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) at the Messe Grande Conference Centre, constructed on the site of the old Oberwiesenfeld airport. A main focus of the meeting was the strategic use of biosimilars which companies are allowed to make when the patent of the original medicine expires. They are usually able to produce and sell the biosimilar more cheaply than the original reference medicines. Thus, they are appealing for healthcare systems and may help to improve access to important medicines for cancer patients and, in particular, for those with metastatic colorectal cancer. A further important discussion concentrated on a strategic policy in Europe for routine screening and the optimal age at which it should be offered. The consensus appeared to be at 50 years of age and supported by more informative publicity campaigns which had been successful in some European Union countries.

In conclusion, Ed Goodall commented, ‘I left Munich, its Chocolate Box Centre dominated by the golden statuette of the Angel of Peace pointing heavenwards, buzzing with new ideas and inspired to renew efforts to finally defeat our old enemy, cancer.’

Cancer researchers at Queen’s University Belfast win European Health Award

Cancer researchers at Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Leeds, as part of a pan-European partnership, called the European Cancer Concord (ECC) won the prestigious 2018 European Health Award. MErCuRIC PI Professor Mark Lawler, Chair in Translational Cancer Research at Queen’s University Belfast and Vice President of ECC, received the award on October 3, 2018 on behalf of the partnership during the opening ceremony of the European Health Forum Gastein, a European health policy conference and an official event of the Austrian European Council Presidency.

The award-winning project, ‘The European Cancer Patient’s Bill of Rights: A Catalyst for Change and an empowerment tool for cancer patients across Europe’ involves an equal partnership between cancer patients, healthcare professionals and cancer researchers. The Bill of Rights is underpinned by three key principles: the right of every European citizen to receive accurate information and be involved in their own care; the right of every European citizen to access specialised cancer care underpinned by research and innovation; and the right of every European citizen to cost-effective health systems that ensure optimum cancer outcomes.

Professor Lawler commented: “Cancer knows no borders, so it is important that we work together to develop solutions that address cancer inequalities in all parts of Europe. I am immensely proud to be accepting this award, not only on behalf of our team who have worked together over the last five years on this initiative, but also on behalf of the millions of European citizens who are living with and beyond cancer, and experiencing cancer inequalities every single day of their lives.”

Working in close partnership with European patient organisations and professional societies has been a key part of the initiative. MErCuRIC patient representative Margaret Grayson, a cancer survivor and Chairperson of the Northern Ireland Cancer Research Consumer Forum (NICRCF), remarked: “The news that the European Cancer Patient’s Bill of Rights has received a top European award is wonderful. This collaborative initiative has patients absolutely at its centre. It is especially pleasing that Professor Lawler will be collecting this award at Gastein, given Northern Ireland’s leadership role in the project.”

“We at the European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC) are delighted to be part of this joint success,” Lydia Makaroff, Director of the European Cancer Patient Coalition, added. “The ECPC has been a crucial partner in the European Cancer Patient’s Bill of Rights since it was launched in the European Parliament on World Cancer Day in 2014, and has worked tirelessly to find solutions to the disparities that cancer patients experience across Europe.”

Read the press release from Queen’s University Belfast here.

Masarykova Univerzita partners present MErCuRIC at ECCB 2018 in Athens

Partners Dr Vlad Popovici and Anna Pečinková, Faculty of Informatics, Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment (RECETOX), Masarykova Univerzita presented MErCuRIC research, “Cross-platform gene expression signature for microsatellite instability in colon and gastric cancers” at the European Conference on Computational Biology (ECCB) 2018 in Athens, Greece. The conference was held September 8- 12, 2018.

ECCB is one of the main computational biology events in Europe. ECCB 2018 welcomed scientists working in a variety of disciplines, including bioinformatics, computational biology, biology, medicine, and systems biology. Participating in ECCB 2018 was an excellent opportunity to keep pace with cutting-edge research, and to network with members of the ECCB community.

View the Popovici/Pečinková presentation here.

QUB Prof Richard Wilson will present MErCuRIC at the EORTC-NCI-AARC Symposium

On November 16, 2018, MErCuRIC PI, Professor Richard Wilson of Queen’s University Belfast will present “A phase I dose escalation multi-centre study crizotinib (MET inhibitor) in patients with advanced solid tumours” during a “Molecular Targeted Agents” session of the EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium. The meeting will take place on 13-16 November 2018 in The Convention Centre Dublin, in the Republic of Ireland.

Hosted by the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the 2018 Symposium will assemble academics, scientists and pharmaceutical industry representatives from across the globe to discuss the latest innovations in drug development, target selection and the impact of new discoveries in molecular biology.

You can view the searchable EORTC- NCI- AACR Symposium 2018 programme here.

 

Queen’s University Belfast team makes a massive colon cancer breakthrough

New findings emerging from the research team at Queen’s University Belfast have identified a cellular process which can be exploited in order to kill BRAF mutant colon cancer cells, a particularly aggressive subgroup of colon cancers. These cancers are not only extremely aggressive but they do not respond well to conventional cancer treatments.

The QUB team behind the discovery describe it as a “ground-breaking therapeutic process that can target and kill bowel cancer cells”. The treatment will be a key tool in tackling the most aggressive form of the illness which conventional treatments have little or no impact on. The revolutionary technique may improve survival rates for colon cancer patients globally.

Professor Sandra Van Schaeybroeck, remarked: “This research is good news for bowel cancer patients as further clinical trials investigating the effect of such agents could improve the survival outcome of patients in Northern Ireland and beyond.”

Congratulations to all researchers involved!

Here is some digital press coverage of this story:

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/belfast-team-discover-way-to-target-bowel-cancer-cells-thxqltfqw

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/bowel-cancer-breakthrough-discovered-at-queen-s-university-belfast-1.3619261

https://www.rte.ie/news/2018/0906/991937-qub_bowel_cancer/

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-45431053

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-6136787/New-bowel-cancer-treatment-improve-survival-rates.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ito=1490&ns_campaign=1490

http://www.oxfordtimes.co.uk/news/national/16691154.new-bowel-cancer-treatment-may-improve-survival-rates/

Belfast Telegraph

The Daily Mirror

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