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EU Funds $8M Personalized Breast Cancer Biomarker Project

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The European Union has funded a new €6 million ($8 million) project led by the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the medical school for Humboldt University and the Free University of Berlin, that seeks to develop new biomarker tests for tailoring treatments for breast cancer patients.

The project, called RESPONSIFY, aims to develop tests to indicate how therapies will affect individual patients and enable doctors to make better decisions about whether to use neoadjuvant therapies or provide treatments after surgery.

The three-year project will include partners in Belgium, France, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK, the European Commission said this week.

The partners will use a range of genome-based approaches, including genome-wide next-generation sequencing, epigenetics, gene and exon expression analysis, in situ proteomics, and quantitative PCR, to identify and characterize new biomarkers and to validate markers from earlier projects.

The results from the project will be presented on a web-based data integration and processing system that will provide easy access to the information for future clinical biomarker trials.

"The advantage of neoadjuvant therapy is that the effective response of the therapy on the tumor is immediately visible. This is why we are better able to judge which biomarkers are appropriate for directing the therapy," Carsten Denkert, project director at the Charité Institute of Pathology, said in a statement.

The Scan

Not as High as Hoped

The Associated Press says initial results from a trial of CureVac's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine suggests low effectiveness in preventing COVID-19.

Finding Freshwater DNA

A new research project plans to use eDNA sampling to analyze freshwater rivers across the world, the Guardian reports.

Rise in Payments

Kaiser Health News investigates the rise of payments made by medical device companies to surgeons that could be in violation of anti-kickback laws.

Nature Papers Present Ginkgo Biloba Genome Assembly, Collection of Polygenic Indexes, More

In Nature this week: a nearly complete Ginkgo biloba genome assembly, polygenic indexes for dozens of phenotypes, and more.