Reconstructing m(i)RNA regulatory networks implicated in invasion and metastasis in neuroblastoma

01 January 2013 → 31 December 2015
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Genetics
    • Systems biology
  • Medical and health sciences
    • Molecular and cell biology
    • Molecular and cell biology
Project description

Neuroblastoma is an embryonal tumor originating from developing sympathetic nervous system cells. This tumor accounts for 15% of all childhood cancer deaths and survival rates have not substantially improved over the past decades, pointing at an urgent need for new treatment options. Molecular therapies have recently emerged with specific targeting of the molecular 'Achilles heel', leading to a more efficient killing of cancer cells without or with reduced toxicity. In this project, I aim at the identification of new therapeutic targets by focusing on the genes and pathways that are involved in neuroblastoma invasion and metastasis, which is typically present in stage 4 tumors. Through differential mRNA/miRNA/lncRNA expression analysis, I aim to identify an “nvasion signature”and unravel a transcriptional network that is linked to neuroblastoma invasion/metastasis. The “invasion signature”will be validated in both human and mice transcriptome profiling data. Important nodes within the identified transcriptional network will be further functionally analysed. In addition, drug databases will be screened for new treatment options targeting these nodes in the identified network.