Central and Western Europe are characterised by increased cancer mortality rates due to late disclosure or lack of personalised treatment. This is a common problem for patients in provinces where there has been little progress in personalised medicine.
Scientists from Voronezh State University in cooperation with scientists from Semmelweis University (Hungary) are developing a new method of diagnosing oncological diseases by combining data regarding DNA mutation level and cell protein composition. The author of the project is the Vice Rector for Research and Innovations, Vasily Popov.
The research revealed molecular genetic biomarkers for the development of kidney and breast cancer. The scientists carried out a comprehensive analysis of cancer cell proteins and revealed specific point mutations and changes in DNA in tissues of patients with cancer and without it.
Today, the evaluation of mutations in marker genes plays the key role for evaluation of genetic predisposition. However, it is a time consuming and costly process due to the numerous varieties of cancer. That is why it is very important to develop a comprehensive test system for the evaluation of cancer predisposition. The work is expected to result in a concentration quantitation of proteins encoded by 50 genes with the help of protein biochips with reversed phase partition (RPPA).
RPPA is a platform that allows simultaneous measuring of the expression level of hundreds of proteins in thousands of biological samples. RPPA requires specialised equipment and infrastructure. VSU’s Hungarian partner institute received a grant to create such a platform and it has already been commissioned. Semmelweis University provides the infrastructure necessary for the implementation of the project, which is unique in Europe and Russia.
RPPA platform in Budapest will be used to identify new tumour biomarkers. It will help to improve patient care. A consortium of scientists will spend three years to handle at least 50 kidney cancer samples, 150 breast cancer samples and the corresponding healthy tissue material. Tumour samples selection and their DNA sequencing is carried out at VSU. They will be studied in Hungary by RPPA method.
“The project is very timely as overall population ageing leads to the increase in the percentage of cancer diseases. The main focus of the project is breast cancer which is one of the nastiest forms of oncological diseases. Unfortunately, this type of cancer is often inoperable and difficult to cure, that is why early diagnostics is crucial as it allows starting the therapy as soon as possible and thus increasing the chances of the patient to survive. We hope that our joint work will make it possible to create a new set of markers of early cancer prediction, cancer predisposition, which can be of social importance. This project resulted from our cooperation with our Russian partner, Voronezh Regional Clinical Cancer Detection Centre and a well-known in Europe research team from Semmelweis University. They are actively involved in the research of proteomics and we have a lot of experience in genome research. We supplement each other,” said Vasily Popov.
The results of the research can increase survival rate and living standards of oncology patients by providing them with a more efficient personalised therapy with a high therapeutic ratio.
The research is supported by the agreement with the Ministry of Higher Education and Science of the Russian Federation № 14.586.21.0062 (unique number RFMEFI58618X0062).