PON01_02782 New nanotechnological strategies for the development of drugs and diagnostic tools directed to circulating cancer cells (CTC)


Biogem S.c.a r.l.


36 months


CTC, antitumor, microalgae

ERC sectors

LS7_3, LS9_9

Summary of the project

The presence of circulating tumor cells (CTC) in the blood is associated with an advanced stage of the disease and reduce survival of cancer patients. Knowledge of the characteristics of the CTC is therefore of fundamental importance for many applications of clinical interest. This project is aimed to isolate CTC from the blood of patients suffering from epithelial and haematological tumors, to develop protocols for the ex-vivo expansion of these cells and to perform a complete molecular characterization in order to clearly define the mutational and transcriptional profiles. This project aims to develop diagnostic kits as well as to identify new molecular targets that may be the target of innovative therapeutic tools for the treatment of these tumors. The project also includes a phase which will identify molecules with anti-tumor activity against CTC, by screening libraries of compounds, substances and natural peptides including natural products arising from innovative sources such as marine microalgae.

Descriptions of activities

The project activities are divided into six objectives (OR).
O.R. 1 Development of nanotechnological devices for the isolation of circulating tumor cells (CTC)
OR2 Molecular characterization of CTC: identification of molecular targets
OR3 Molecular characterization of CTC: development of advanced diagnostic tools
OR4 Development of mouse models for the characterization of CTC
O.R. 5 Development of new technological procedures for targeting and CTC for the optimization of
delivery of drugs and / or molecules with antitumor activity
O.R. 6 Molecular Targeting of CTC
The Zoological Station is involved in the following activities:
Activity 6.2 Identification of molecules of natural and / or synthetic origin with possible biological activity on CTC cells.
The main objective of this activity is to provide extracts and fractions from marine cultivable microalgae with anti-tumor properties, and to isolate and characterize these compounds through a screening system based on biological assays of the fractions obtained from crude extracts. Finally we plan to optimize the production of bioactive compounds of interest through cultivation on a large scale of the producer microorganism(s).

Expected Results

Identification of at least one small molecule with antitumor activity on CTC cells.

Time chart

PON 02782 timechart

Tab 1 Costs

Total personnel costa 200.000 36,00
Total sub-contracting costs 200.000 36,00
Other costs 160.000 36,00
Equipments 40.000 36,00
General Costs 100.000 36,00
Total 700.000  

Tab 2 Personnel SZN

Ianora Adrianna Senior researcher 4
Romano Giovanna Researcher 5,5
Esposito Francesco Technologist 4
Palumbo Flora CTER 7,6
Perna Massimo CTER 7,6
Biffali Elio Technologist 3
Marino RIta Technologist 3
Pannone Raimondo CTER 4
Mauriello Elvira CTER 3

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. > Read More