Identification of biomarkers for the prevention of chronic diseases

A. Primary prevention of CVD. CVD is the most common cause of morbidity and mortality in Europe. The predictive value and usefulness of –omics based personalized and stratified systems CVD medicine over conventional approaches will be evaluated in a large ongoing cohort of healthy subjects (The Rotterdam Study, one of the largest cohort in Europe). We will evaluate social, ethical, legal, regulatory barriers and cost-benefits.

B. Secondary prevention of AD. Identification of subgroups of AD patients with a potentially modifiable metabolic etiology is a prerequisite for the use and development of targeted preventive or therapeutic actions. We aim to identify blood and cerebro spinal fluid biomarkers that distinguish subgroups of patients characterized by genetic, environmental, vascular and metabolic factors; identify blood based biomarkers that predict the risk of AD and can be used for early preventive interventions. The project will be carried out in the context of the Rotterdam Study.

C. Tertiary prevention of HNC. HNC are the sixth most common cancer worldwide, with a low 5-year overall survival (OS) rate. The project aims to: evaluate the relationship between healthy behaviors and clinical parameters, with the incidence of second primary HNC, local recurrence of HNC and OS within a multicentre epidemiologic study involving a cohort of 14,826 HNC patients in the International Head And Neck Cancer Epidemiology consortium; identify potential miRNA signatures in the plasma that may predict at the moment of HNC diagnosis, the occurrence of second primary HNC, local recurrence and OS of HNC, within a multicenter biological study including over 8000 samples; evaluate the interaction between the identified prognostic factors, and the resulting miRNA signatures, on the incidence of second primary HNC, local recurrence and OS.

Innovation and originality: till now the use of –omics biomarkers in personalized prevention has been based on the evidence of their validity and not only on their technological availability. The innovation of the proposed approach is in using large population based-studies, along with biobanks, which will make the biomarkers research in 3 key research areas (CVD, neurological disorders, and cancer) more effective as it builds upon existing data. The participation of a SME that is involved in the development of tests diagnostic biomarkers will provide the proper insight into the entire value of chain.