EuroTARGET is a European collaborative project on "TArgeted therapy in Renal cell cancer: GEnetic and Tumour related biomarkers for response and toxicity". It is funded by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). The project brings together 14 partner organisations (12 research institutes and 2 companies) from 8 European countries.
Since a few years, specific drugs are available for patients with (metastasized) renal cell cancers (the most common form of kidney cancer). These drugs suppress the development of new blood vessels in the tumor. Tumors need such blood vessels in order to grow. By suppressing this, tumor growth can be slowed down a little bit.
However, not all patients show clinical benefit from therapy. In fact, the clinical response is quite variable. In addition to this, toxicity is experienced by a substantial number of patients. And such toxicity frequently necessitates a reduction of the dose or even cessation of therapy. In individual patients, it is impossible to accurately predict response and toxicity. That means that many patients will be treated with the drugs while they will experience only side effects without any benefits. On the other hand, other patients may be treated with a suboptimal type of drug or dose.
The EuroTARGET project aims to collect specific information that will help to quickly predict the outcome of an individual"s treatment. This will allow physicians to effectively optimize a treatment regimen to target a patient"s individual condition. The specific information the EuroTARGET researchers are looking for are so-called biomarkers. A biomarker is a term often used to refer to a protein measured in blood whose concentration reflects the presence or severity of a disease. More generally a biomarker is anything that can be used as an indicator of the condition of the patient. In the EuroTARGET project, biomarkers can be proteins, genetic changes in the tumour, and also any changes in the body induced by the drug, as well as changes the drug will undergo in an individual patient.
The EuroTARGET project started on March 1, 2011. Through this website, we will keep you informed about the progress of our research.