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H20-MSCA-Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions

Exploitation of the SECRETory pathway for cancer therapy to address European research

Awarded: NOK 4.6 mill.


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Project Period:

2019 - 2023


Breast and colorectal cancer (BC and CRC) are the most frequent cancers accounting for 19% of all deaths from cancer in Europe. In case of triple-negative BC (TNBC) targeted therapies are not available and non-selective chemotherapy is the only treatment option. Targeted therapy has been approved for the treatment of advanced CRC, but response rates are low and treatment is limited to a subgroup of patients. Also, TNBC and CRC patients are prone to develop metastases and have a poor prognosis underpinning the need for new targeted and broadly applicable therapeutic strategies. Tumor cell secretion contributes to hallmarks of cancer e.g. hyperproliferation, evasion of growth suppression, loss of cell polarity, activation of cell motility, invasion and metastasis, shaping of the tumor microenvironment through altered presentation of proteins and the secretome, and resistance to cell death. Dysregulated secretion is thus a driver of cancer progression and therefore holds promise as a general therapeutic target for the treatment of cancers. However, strategies to exploit the secretory pathway for therapeutic and diagnostic purposes are still in their infancy due to the incomplete understanding of how this pathway is regulated by aberrant signaling. The overall research objective of SECRET is to drive the understanding of the mutual regulation of the secretory pathway and signaling in cancer, which will serve as a platform to identify and interrogate novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. SECRET comprises 11 beneficiaries and 7 partner organizations from 9 countries. Coordinated by the University of Stuttgart, SECRET will train 15 talented ESRs in the field of translational cancer systems cell biology and systems medicine towards a career in industry or academia through a highly interdisciplinary and intersectoral research training programme and inspire them to exploit the SECRETory pathway as a treasure trove to design novel therapeutic strategies against cancer.

Funding scheme:

H20-MSCA-Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions

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