Interview with Prof. Bardelli about Liquid Biopsies

In an IFOM interview, MErCuRIC researcher Prof. Alberto Bardelli of the Universita Degli Studi di Torino talks about why he studies colorectal cancer.

He describes personalised medicine, targeted therapies and resistance to therapy, as well as monitoring therapy in real time with blood-based assays called liquid biopsies.

You can watch the interview here.

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Learn more about personalized medicine from CARPEM

Educational videos from Cancer Research for Personalized Medicine (CARPEM) are now available online in French (English subtitles). Pr. Julien Taieb, gastrointestinal oncologist at the Georges Pompidou European Hospital (APHP), describes how advances in personalized medicine modify its practices in the treatment of digestive cancers.

CARPEM video



MErCuRIC Abstract Accepted to ASCO 2015

MErCuRIC will be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2015 meeting, 29 May – 02 June 2015, in Chicago.
A poster entitled ‘MErCuRIC1: A Phase I study of MEK1/2 inhibitor PD-0325901 with cMET inhibitor crizotinib in RASMT and RASWT (with aberrant c-MET) metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients’ will be included in the Gastrointestinal (Colorectal) Cancer poster session.

QUB to host All Ireland Cancer Consortium Conference 2015

The Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology at Queen’s University Belfast,  in conjunction with the Ireland-Northern Ireland-National Cancer Institute Consortium, will host the  All-Ireland Cancer Consortium (AICC) Conference 2015 at the Riddel Hall, Queen’s University Belfast, between 10th and 13th May 2015.
The focus of the conference will be on ‘New Horizons for Cancer: Removing Boundaries’. MErCuRIC Coordinator Sandra Van Scaeybroeck will present. Early bird registration deadline is 31 Jan 2015.
Click here for more information.

MErCuRIC Year 1 Meeting

Barcelona Plenary Meeting Participants 16.12.14

MErCuRIC partners attended a successful meeting in VHIO, Barcelona on 16 Dec 2014. Progress made by the consortium in year 1 was discussed and work for year 2 was planned. To date, we have received ethical approval to open two sites (OXFORD and UZA) to recruit to the Phase I trial, and advanced the translational technologies to be implemented during the project.

Free Bowel Cancer Public Information Evening

The NI Cancer Research Forum invite you to a free bowel cancer public information evening. Hear about new developments in Research and Care. Tuesday 2nd December 2014 Belfast City Hospital, Cancer Centre, Level 1, Seminar Room 3, 7-9pm

Refreshments will be served. Please contact if interested: Tel: 028 90 638468

MErCuRIC UTV Segment

The MerCuRIC project was covered on UTV television’s UTV Live News programme and website on 11 December, including an interview with Prof Mark Lawler of QUB.

Full Article Here:

MErCuRIC Project Press Release

Available to download here.

Queen’s leads €6million European study to combat bowel cancer

Queen’s University has announced it is to lead a €6 million European study to find new treatments for bowel cancer.

The research, which involves 13 partners in eight different European countries, will look at two major genetic factors which make bowel cancer difficult to treat.

Bowel cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, is the second major cause of cancer mortality. It is the third most common cause of cancer in Europe, with over 200,000 deaths per year. Currently over 50 per cent of colorectal cancer patients develop an aggressive form of the disease which spreads quickly and does not respond to standard therapy.  Patients’ survival more than five years after diagnosis of this form of colorectal cancer is less than five per cent.

The new research, which takes place under a recently established European Consortium (MErCuRIC), led by Queen’s University and funded by the European Commission’s Framework VII Programme, will build on recent studies which have increased the understanding of what goes wrong in the colorectal cancer cell.

The new study is aiming to develop new diagnostics and therapies through a programme of research which will include a translational clinical trial of over 1000 people and involving a number of SME and industrial partners including Pfizer.

Dr Sandra van Schaeybroeck, Co-Ordinator of the Research Programme from the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology (CCRCB) at Queen’s, said: “Our research has identified two key genes that are contributing to the aggressive spread of colorectal cancer.  The research being carried out by MErCuRIC will allow us to bring this research to the next level by developing and conducting a clinical trial that targets the products of these two genes in patients with metastic or aggressive colorectal cancer.”

The pan European clinical trial component of the Programme of Research is being led by the University of Oxford.   Professor Tim Maughan from the University of Oxford and who has led a number of key clinical trials programmes in colorectal cancer, said: “This is an important study which has the potential to develop new approaches to treat patients who have what is essentially an incurable disease.  Bringing together world leading researchers from across Europe has the potential to make important developments in the war against this very aggressive form of cancer.”

Professor David Waugh, Director of the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology at Queen’s, said: “At a local level, the collaborative nature of the research that led up to the successful grant award, involving the CCRCB and the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, emphasises the importance of a bench to bedside continuum linking the researcher and the clinician, with the patient at the centre of this process.”

The Consortium brings together world leading researchers from the UK, Ireland, Spain, Belguim, France, Italy and the Czech Republic

For further information visit

Hear from Dr Sandra van Schaeybroeck

Media inquiries to Claire O’Callaghan, Queen’s University Communications Office, Tel: +44 (0)28 9097 5391 email:

New Website Launched

Thank you very much for visiting our new website for the MErCuRIC project.

We’ll be updating the site over the next few weeks.