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miRNA-based identification of subtypes in colorectal cancer.

As the field of cancer therapy is moving more and more towards personalized medicine, there is an urgent need to classify colorectal cancers based on their biological mechanisms that drive them. In this project, we are aiming to use a recently discovered class of molecules, microRNAs (miRNAs) that are linked to the control of cancer cell growth. By profiling tumors based on the levels of these miRNAs, we expect to classify tumours into distinct disease subgroups with different underlying biology. In parallel, we will screen for acquired genetic lesions in the genes coding for these miRNAs. These efforts may lead to the identification of candidate miRNA species involved in colon cancer development. The capacity of these candidates to contribute to colorectal cancer development, will be tested in our in vitro models. In parallel, we will examine whether these candidate miRNAs could contribute to resistance or sensitivity to novel targeted cancer therapies. Conclusively, we will aim to end up with an integrated functional overview of miRNAs involved in colorectal cancer, with possible implications for diagnosis and treatment of colorectal cancer patients.
Date:1 Oct 2012 →  31 May 2015
Keywords:Colorectal cancer, Targeted therapies, miRNAs, EGFR, MEK, BRAF
Disciplines:Morphological sciences, Oncology