Why? In the European Union ~200.000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year and that number is likely to increase due to a growing population at risk due to ageing. Because of the progress made in the treatment of the primary tumor, mortality in cancer patients is increasingly linked to metastatic disease; often occult (= micrometastasis or â€minimal residual diseaseâ€) at the time of diagnosis/therapy of the primary tumor.

Understanding the complex mechanisms of metastasis (circulating tumor cells - micrometastasis - metastasis) at the molecular and physiological level is crucial for successful detection of minimal residual disease and for evolving possible strategies for the prevention of their development into overt metastasis.

How? In this project called PROMET we intend to elucidate the mechanisms and the signature of minimal residual disease in prostate cancer and to develop novel therapeutic approaches to prevent the development of minimal residual disease to overt metastasis.

The goal is to identify at least 2 signal transduction targets and to develop a diagnostic test for the detection of the presence of minimal residual disease and to define a novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment of this disease in prostate cancer.
Thus, earlier detection and disease-specific treatment may decrease morbidity and mortality and ultimately have an impact on socio-economical costs.