Integrated Project CANCERDEGRADOME funded
The Cancerdegradome Project is a consortium of European researchers who are studying new and innovative ways of diagnosing and treating cancer. The project is focussed on genes that encode enzymes known as proteases, whose job is to cut or destroy other proteins.
There has long been a connection between proteases and cancer biology, since these enzymes can endow tumour cells with the ability to invade and metastasize, or spread through the body. However, scientists now know that proteases are involved in a host of subtle regulatory mechanisms that determine the extracellular environment, and how cells respond to their environments, and in so doing they can control cancer cell growth and death, the formation of new blood vessels (angiogenesis) that supply the growing tumour with nutrients, and also the ability of the immune system to detect cancers. It is this set of protease genes, together with their natural inhibitors, and the proteins with which they interact, that is called the DEGRADOME.