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Centre for Cancer Biomarkers CCBIO
The Norwegian Cancer Society's 2017-grants

Support from the Cancer Society to three of CCBIO's research projects

The Norwegian Cancer Society has recently announced their 2017-funding. The University of Bergen and Haukeland University Hospital receive 54,7 million NOK, of which 23,2 million go to CCBIO projects.

Tildeling fra kreftforbundet
Rector Dag Rune Olsen, CEO Eivind Hansen at Haukeland University Hospital, Dean Per Bakke at the Medical Faculty and Secretary General in the Norwegian Cancer Society, Anne Lise Ryel, with the principal investigators at UiB who receive this year's support, James Lorens, Eivind Valen, Stian Knappskog, Bjørn Tore Gjertsen, Martha Chekenya, Camilla Krakstad and Per Lønning.
Photo:
Kreftforeningen

Each fall, the Norwegian Cancer Society allocates their funding to various cancer research projects. In 2017, NOK 173.8 million will be distributed to 26 different projects. Of these, research groups at the University of Bergen and Haukeland University Hospital receive NOK 54.7 million, shared between seven research projects. Three of these belong to CCBIO research environments:

  • CCBIO Principal Investigator James Lorens: (Significance of AXL for) communication between cancer cells and immune cells  - basic research with clinical relevance (6 mill. NOK.)
  • CCBIO Junior Associate Investigator Camilla Krakstad: New therapy strategies for endometrial cancer (9,2 mill. NOK.)
  • CCBIO Principal Investigator and Co-Director Bjørn Tore Gjertsen: Developing new and targeted therapy (CSF1R/FLT3) against acute leukemia.(8 mill. NOK.)

James Lorens' project concerns new methods to provide better treatment of aggressive cancer that is resistant to immunotherapy.

The body's immune system has a unique ability to patrol the body and remove mutated cells and cancer cells. However, cancer cells have many different ways to affect the immune cells so that they can avoid being attacked and exterminated; they can change both themselves and their neighborhood and they can send a variety of signals to the immune cells which prevent them from doing an effective job.

The project investigates a factor in cancer cells that help prevent attacks from immune cells. The overall objective of the project is to contribute to the development of novel therapies for the prevention and treatment of aggressive cancers which currently are resistant to immunotherapy.

Camilla Krakstad's project is investigating tumor alterations, and aims to provide more personalized treatment.

Uterine cancer is one of the most common malignancies affecting women. Occurrence is increasing, partly due to prolonged life expectancy, but this type of cancer is also strongly associated with obesity, which is a rising challenge in the population.

Although the prognosis for most patients is good, there are few treatment options if the cancer has spread in the body, resulting in poorer prognosis.

In this project, the group investigates molecular alterations in cancer tumors and their significance for disease type, course of the disease and treatment, and whether these are promising targets for new treatment. The work involves comprehensive mapping of alterations in both primary tumor and metastatic lesions. New identified targets for treatment in the metastatic lesions will be investigated in advanced disease models where the effects of new drugs are tested.

The results of the testing will provide a foundation for selecting drugs for further experimental therapy. A clinical study of new biomarkers will investigate whether these can be part of common practice when choosing the optimal surgical treatment for patients. The overall aim is to find better and more individually adapted treatment for uterine cancer.

Bjørn Tore Gjertsen's project aims to achieve effective precision therapy by linking disease models, diagnostics and treatment closer together.

In Norway, we have about 150 new cases of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) per year, and the average age when the disease is detected is 70. Less than 20 percent of patients live longer than three years.

New techniques that allow 30-40 measurement points per cell - in millions of cells - allow us to carefully monitor the cancer cells of each patient during treatment, and adjust the treatment early on, giving a better course of the disease.

Congratulations to all three research groups!

Read more: 

Article at UiB News: 55 million NOK to cancer research in Bergen

The Cancer Society (in Norwegian): Forskningstildelingen 2017