PROSTarget: Understanding the aggressive nature and key molecular drivers of metastatic dissemination in lethal PCa.

1 July 2023 - 30 April 2025

Diagnosis & treatmentHorizon Europe2023

This project undertakes an innovative translational approach to identify molecular cues underlying metastatic prostate cancer (Pca).

Project description

Cancer cells dissemination from primary tumors to distant sites is the most terrifying evolving process of cancer. Such an irreversible and irreparable process encompasses tumor cells’ escaping, extravasating into blood stream and colonizing distant sites and is known as metastasis origin. Metastases spread is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths. The scattered but aggressive nature of metastatic disease and the extensive but not striking treatment effort history of metastatic cancers represents still a major obstacle in scientific progress and curability rates stemming from translational cancer research.

Prostate cancer (PCa) hits men with high incidence and shows heterogeneity and resistance to standard of care. Altogether those hints imply that patients exhibiting disease progression, will head into complications succumbing to PCa-related high mortality, representing a major socio-economic problem world-wide. Importantly, PCa metastasis strikes after resistance acquisition to antiandrogens and taxols, overall limiting treatment efficacy. In this context, cancer research is vital with the aim of shedding new light on causal factors, unrevealing molecular mediators of the metastatic process, responsible for treatment resistance leading to patients’ poor overall survival. Finding those responsible mediators represents still an unmet medical need to reduce PCa mortality rate.

Here we undertake an innovative translational approach to identify molecular cues underlying metastatic PCa. We focus our attention on a poorly characterized cancer entity: castration-naïve metastatic PCa , encompassing a tumor type that is metastatic at the time of first diagnosis. This tumor type is responsible for more than 50% of lethal PCa in the developed world. Through the project we will unleash prostate cancer vulnerabilities, to finally improve patient overall survival. For this reason, we built: PROSTarget

Funding programme & Type of action

Funding programme : Horizon Europe
Type of action : Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA)
Grant agreement number : 101108377


2 years