OPEN Research Support

Maj Rabjerg
Department of Pathology, Odense University Hospital

Projekt styring
Projekt status    Sampling ongoing
Data indsamlingsdatoer
Start 01.06.2020  
Slut 31.12.2020  

Identification of novel treatment strategies for renal cell carcinoma

Short summary

Renal cell carcinoma is typically not detected until later stages due to few symptoms. Conventional therapies have no effect and the available targeted therapies lead to resistance over time, which contributes to poor overall prognosis. Identification of novel molecular targets is therefore highly important. This study aims at identifying possible novel targets for an improved treatment of renal cell carcinoma, based on previous studies done by the group.


Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is one of the most deadly malignancies due to frequent late diagnosis and poor treatment options. RCC is resistant to conventional oncological therapies, such as chemotherapy and radiation. The availability of novel targeted therapies directed against tyrosine kinase receptors have increased over the last years and has become the major focus in the treatment of RCC patients. However, clinical data have shown that most of the patients acquire resistance towards these compounds and novel treatment modalities are necessary to overcome drug resistance.

In this project we aim at working with human renal cancer tissue from the renal cancer Biobank in Denmark, with established kidney cancer cell lines and animal models. Based on a number of results from previous research done by the group, we will demonstrate the key role of protein kinase CK2 as a mediator of RCC growth, as a prognostic marker in RCC and as a predictive marker of CK2-targeted medicine. Another kinase acting on oncogenic pathways is PIM1. Alterations in PIM1 signaling and overexpression of the kinase have been found in various human cancers and it has been correlated with poor prognosis and therapy response in prostate cancer. Several classes of PIM1 inhibitors have been described and recently a novel dual inhibitor, inhibiting both CK2 and PIM1 have been designed. Another goal of the proposed project is therefore to investigate the expression of PIM1 in RCC and the impact of dual inhibitors of CK2 and PIM1 on the growth of RCC cell lines. The outcome of this study will hopefully provide important knowledge on the impact of protein kinases in RCC and demonstrate the potential benefits of targeting CK2 and PIM1 in this type of cancer posing the basis for the design of more advanced pre-clinical investigations.

Description of the cohort

The cohort comprises men and women suffering from renal cell carcinoma and treated surgically in Region of Southern Denmark, which gave informed and written consent to inclusion in the project.

Data and biological material

Tumor and normal renal cortex are collected from each patient. Clinical data regarding age, gender, pathological data and survival data are registered.

Collaborating researchers and departments

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Southern Denmark

  • Associate Professor Barbara Guerra, PhD