MErCuRIC consortium meets in Paris

The MErCuRIC consortium met on October 18th in Paris for the final project meeting. Researchers presented their work from the last year and future publications from the study were planned. The meeting was hosted by partners at the Université Paris Descartes.

MErCuRIC Consortium, Paris, Oct 2019

UNITO publishes its 30th MErCuRIC-acknowledged paper

From left to right: Giovanni Germano, Antonina Germano, Benedetta Mussolin, Alberto Bardelli, Federica Di Nicolantonio, Carlotta Cancelliere

It has been a busy summer but apparently, the MErCuRIC team at the Universitá degli Studi di Torino (UNITO) (pictured above*) never rests. They have just published their 30th MErCuRIC manuscript!

Congratulations to the entire team!

Find the entire list of MErCuRIC publications here.

*Special thanks to Antonina Germano who managed to capture the team in this photograph.

Event Report: How is research in Ireland addressing the challenges of bowel cancer?

COLOSSUS, one of MErCuRIC’s “Related Projects” recently hosted a public event in Dublin and invited Coordinator Sandra Van Schaeybroeck to participate.

Professor Annette Byrne, Head of the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (RSCI) Precision Cancer Medicine Group and Coordinator of the EC funded multi-million Euro Colorectal Cancer Research Programme COLOSSUS hosted and chaired the event at the RCSI on the 30th April 2019 in Dublin.   The meeting provided a fitting finale to Bowel Cancer Awareness Month throughout Europe. 

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MErCuRIC exhibits at PPI Strategy launch, Belfast

Information about PPI in the MErCuRIC study was displayed at a public event launching the NI Cancer Trials Network (NICTN) and NI Cancer Research Consumer Forum (NICRCF) new 5 year Strategy for Personal and Public Involvement in Cancer Research in Northern Ireland.  Around 85 research staff, patient representatives and members of the public attended the event on 26 March 2018, held in the Postgraduate Centre of the Belfast City Hospital.

Speakers and panel members with some NICRCF members, 26 March 2019

The event, chaired by Margaret Grayson, MErCuRIC patient representative, included a range of researcher and NICRCF speakers.  One of the presentations, by Dr Philip Dunne, Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology, QUB, looked at the role of the research laboratory in personalised medicine in bowel cancer.

Feedback was very positive about the event, which included participation from a number of charities and organisations providing information stands.  The NICTN and NICRCF look forward to feedback about the strategy during a 3 month consultation period.    

UNITO publishes 5 MErCuRIC studies

Our partners at the Universitá degli Studi di Torino have been busy! The research team has recently published MErCuRIC results in five papers. You can download them below. Congratulations to the team of Prof. Alberto Bardelli in the Department of Oncology at UNITO!

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#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!