We are delighted to be able to confirm that the collaboration between The Instituto Nazionale dei Tumori (INT) in Milan, and The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in London, to investigate possible cytokine and hormone EHE biomarkers, has started. A third institute, Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) in New York, USA, will be involved in validation of results from INT/ICR. The EHERCC funding however is for the INT/ICR research only, as the MSK work is being funded by a private donation.
This new project has a number of research objectives, split between clinical research and translational research.
Clinical research objectives are:
- To provide a demographic description of the population affected by advanced EHE
- To provide a description of clinical presentation, natural history and treatment pattern in patients with advanced EHE
- To provide a description of tumour-related symptoms and their changes over time
- To provide a tumor-related pain assessment
- To prospectively identify clinical prognostic and predictive factors
Translational research objectives are:
- To assess:
- the longitudinal profiles of circulating cytokines, hormones and miRNAs; and
- the ERα, Erβ and GPER expression and the YAP/TAZ activation in tumour tissues, according to the clinical course of the disease.
To this end the analysis will be conducted on the whole study patient population compared to healthy controls, and by stratifying EHE patients who will enter the study in 3 subgroups according to disease behaviour (non-growing disease, slow- growing disease, highly-aggressive disease)
- The identification and validation of novel biomarkers to inform patient management (prognosticators and predictors of response to medical agents) as well as potential therapeutic targets.
The plan is to include between 50 and 70 patients at INT in Milan, and 18 patients at the ICR in London, in the project over a 36 month period. Profiles of targeted compounds over time in the EHE patient group will be compared to the profiles of the same compounds in healthy individuals.
We look forward to being able to share results of this research with you, but need to recognise that the research objectives are to explore profiles over extended periods of time, and as a result, meaningful results may not be seen for some time.