EDITOR is a collaboration of 13 research institutions from the UK, Spain and Italy. We are funded through the Accelerator Award programme: a partnership between Cancer Research UK , Fondazione AIRC and Fundación Científica de la Asociacion Española Contra el Cáncer (AECC). Our focus is improving early detection and intervention of blood cancers, mainly monoclonal gammopathies, leukemia and lymphoma. These malignancies share common models of cancer progression: from pre-malignant into malignant disease (chemo-sensitive disease which becomes refractory due to the persistence of minimal residual disease (MRD)).
The overall goal of the project is to better characterise the early stages of these cancers and the cancer cells that persist after treatment (MRD cells). The project will produce resources to accelerate research in the early detection and intervention of these blood cancers. Our aim is to focus on treating the cause of the disease through the advancement of precision therapies and treatments that manage MRD, instead of waiting for a relapse.
Identifying accurate biomarkers of early transformation
EDITOR will identify biomarkers for each haematological disease, through databases comprising over 5,000 patient samples and using mouse models.
Understanding and overcoming initial pre-malignant resistance
EDITOR’s innovative approach will use genomic and cytometry studies to consider the context and the heterogeneity of tumours in normal, premalignant and minimal residue states.
EDITOR’s goal is not to cure cancer, but provide the tools to do so in wide collaborative environment, exploring possibilities for new therapeutics in several types of blood cancer. The results of the projects will be validated in mice, but won’t be applied to patients. The development of new cancer therapies that are both effective and safe in humans is a long process and EDITOR is laying the foundations of what could be a new therapeutic approach.
Current therapeutic approaches treat the cancers once they are full blown, and they treat the symptoms instead of the root causes. EDITOR will locate the biomarkers present in the blood stream that indicate that a blood cancer is developing, allowing doctors to make an earlier diagnose, and locate therapeutic targets that are good candidates for a treatment.