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  1. Telomeres, ageing and cancer



    BASIC RESEARCH:

    Age is the strongest carcinogen. The basis underlying this phenomenon, however, remains unclear. Telomere shortening is a recognized marker of human aging and is correlated with many age-related diseases, including cancer. We are testing whether telomere shortening plays a causative role in tumorigenesis in zebrafish – a vertebrate model that, like humans, exhibits critically short telomeres with age.

    CLINICAL RESEARCH:

    Zebrafish patient derived xenografts for personalised medicine
    Project leader: Rita Fior
    Despite advances in targeted cancer treatments, we still lack methods to predict how a specific cancer will respond to treatment. Consequently, patients go through rounds-of-trial-and-error approaches based on treatment guidelines to find the best treatment, often subjected to unnecessary toxicity. The gold standard for in vivo assessment of response to therapy are mouse Patient Derived Xenografts (PDX). However, due to time and costs, these are not suitable for clinical practice. We are developing zebrafish-larvae-xenografts as sensors for cancer behavior and personalized therapy screening.

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