Division 4: Validation, Discovery and Tools

Head: Prof. Henrik Ditzel

NanoCANĀ“s DIVISION 4 constitutes the platform for preclinical validation in primary cells and mouse models (Unit 6) as well as for discovery approaches of new potential markers and drug targets by transcriptomics (Unit 7) and proteomics (Unit 8). UNIT 7 further serves as the central bioinformatics platform for NanoCAN.

One of the first goals within UNIT 6 is the set up of a standardized mouse model for the evaluation of the efficacy of different nanodrug formats. The mouse model includes a reporter breast cancer cell line, for which tumor growth and metastatic spread can be monitored via in vivo imaging. At the present time point, numerous conditions are tested to optimize the imaging procedures, especially with regards to the visualization of metastasis.

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UNIT 7 employs expression profiling as well as next generation-sequencing to recover new markers and potential novel attack points for personalized cancer therapy. UNIT 7 also serves to connect interdisciplinary data-sets from genomics, proteomics, transcriptomics and systematic functional screens, using bioinformatic methods. This approach allows for an encompassing statistical evaluation, which will help to create novel insights into the complex biology of cancer stem cells and relations in cancer development.

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Cancer stem cells so far are identified based on a limited set of markers and to this end have mainly been characterized by mRNA profiling. Unit 8 employs proteomics approaches to identify new markers for cancer stem cells and new potential drug targets at the protein level.

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