CENTOGENE Launches PICOPglobal: Two Year Global Study on Colon- and Pancreas-Carcinoma

CENTOGENE today announced the initiation of ‘PICOPglobal’  ̶  a 24-month global proof-of concept study focusing on the identification of tumor-specific neoantigens as the basis for developing a personalized, immune-based therapy to trigger patients’ own immune responses against tumors. The PICOPglobal study is being conducted without a treatment arm and in collaboration with the Surgical Oncology Society Pakistan. Local partners or the University of Rostock and University of Greifswald in Germany.

The study aims to enroll 100 participants with pancreas or colorectal carcinoma in order to analyze the molecular characteristics of tumors and to subsequently identify tumor-specific antigens (neoepitopes). These neoepitopes are powerful targets for future patient-individualized vaccination since enhancement of the immune response via vaccination is among new therapeutic options by using either cell-specific antigens, over-expressed tumor-specific antigens, or mutated neoepitopes.

Tumor and control samples will be tested genetically to identify tumor associated mutations and MS/MS-based mutations to identify neoepitopes and biomarkers. The collected data will be used in a multi-omics approach to possibly predict neoepitopes suitable for use in vaccines.

“With the high incidences and poor prognosis of Colon- and Pancreas-Carcinoma especially in developing countries, there is an urgent need to improve treatment for patients.” said Dr. Peter Bauer, MD, Chief Scientific Officer, CENTOGENE. “We are proud to be working on this important study that may have a considerable impact on cancer immunotherapy and individualized treatment for patients via peptide-based immunization for Colon- and Pancreas-Carcinoma. We are excited about the contribution that CENTOGENE and our international partners will be making ultimately for the benefit of cancer patients worldwide.”

“We are excited to be partners in this global collaboration which has the potential of advancing our understanding of cancer biology and immunology,” added Prof. Muhammad Arshad Cheema, University of Lahore, during a recent visit to CENTOGENE in Rostock. “The members of Surgical Oncology Society Pakistan look forward to the day when we can hopefully translate the knowledge gained from this study to an effective vaccine for our cancer patients.”

Colorectal Carcinoma is one of the most common cancer types worldwide – causing more than 694,000 deaths per year, and the third most common form of cancer in men with an estimated 746,000 new cases diagnosed each year. In 2014, the International Agency for Research on Cancer estimated that Pancreas Carcinoma caused 330,000 deaths worldwide in 2012. Pancreas Carcinoma is also estimated to be the 12th most common form of cancer in men, with roughly 178 000 new cases diagnosed in 2012.

More information on the study can be found here.