The project

The Project

The project

The TRACEPIGEN project will address a major clinical issue in cancer treatment – the emergence of resistance to systemic drug therapy. There is an urgent unmet need to develop methods and identify biomarkers for early detection of acquired therapy resistance. This project will focus on the analysis of circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) to study the evolution of genetic and epigenetic landscape in response to systemic therapy to identify putative prognostic and diagnostic biomarkers for dynamic monitoring during cancer progression. To achieve this, the TRACEPIGEN project will bring together a new team of enthusiastic early carrier researchers to introduce cancer (epi)genomics and bioinformatics as a new research field in Serbia and prime-pump research for future international and national grant applications. The TRACEPIGEN project will provide a platform for integration of internationally and nationally trained researchers with complementing skills to ensure an effective delivery of designated specific aims:


AIM 1: Build human professional and research infrastructure capacities, disseminate research results and open new research directions in Serbia.

AIM 2: Develop and standardize a new pipeline for ultra-sensitive targeted cfDNA sequencing using single-step target enrichment and library preparation method that will allow us to test for the presence of variant DNA methylation marks and somatic mutations at single base resolution in minute quantities of cfDNA.

AIM 3: Apply the standardized pipeline on prospectively collected serial plasma cfDNA samples from patients diagnosed with advanced stage colorectal (CRC) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) to evaluate the dynamics of genetic and epigenetic alterations in relation to therapy outcomes and the potential for earlier detection of drug therapy failure

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