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European Scientists Receive Funding From Sixth EU Framework Program to develop novel therapy for cancer

Scientists of a consortium led by the University of Crete Medical School, Greece, have been awarded a grant from the European Commission Sixth Framework program for the discovery and validation of new therapeutic strategies for cancer.

The research program, code-named Apotherapy, will develop methods to activate a protein at the surface of ovarian, lung and bladder tumor cells which will stop their growth. This protein, called CD40, can also induce the destruction of malignant cells by the body’s own defences. The scientists who participate in the program aim to combine CD40 triggering with chemotherapy or with innovative drugs that will cut-off signals necessary for the survival of cancer cells. This strategy is expected to achieve maximal therapy with minimal side effects.

Dr Aristides Eliopoulos of the University of Crete Medical School who co-ordinates the Apotherapy research program, commented:

“We are delighted to have received funding under this program grant. It gives us the opportunity to collaborate with some of the top European scientists and oncologists to fight this deadly disease. We are confident that in the near future, we will be able to progress the best of our developed strategies into clinical practice for the benefit of cancer sufferers.”

The project integrates the core skills and expertise of academic scientists, oncologists and biotechnology researchers from a total of seven Institutions:

University of Crete Medical School, Greece;
University of Helsinki, Finland;
University College London, UK;
Istituto Mario Negri, Milan, Italy;
University of Olomouc, Czech Rep;
University of Uppsala, Sweden and
the biotechnology company Novosom AG, Germany.
Apotherapy is supported with € 2 million from the European Commission FP6 for a period of 3 years.

Apotherapy: CD40 ligand-based modalities for the treatment of solid tumors

Paivi Lehtinen | alfa
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