MicroRNA signatures for classification and prognosis of endometrial cancer

There is a great need for improved methods for classification of cancer tumors and for prediction of the clinical outcome of the disease, since the selection of the optimal treatment strategy for a given patient is dependent on such information. Recently, many successful examples of classification and prognosis methods have been developed on the basis of molecular markers, such as altered expression of marker genes, specific cancer-related alterations in the genome, single nucleotide polymorphisms, and others. In the proposed project, where we will use our findings from methods developed in a model system on clinical material of different class, grade and stage of endometrial cancer, we will focus on the development of molecular markers based on altered expression of microRNA (miRNA) genes as well as the resulting altered expression of the target genes that are regulated by the miRNAs. This is believed to be a promising approach since many genes involved in carcinogenesis are post-transcriptionally regulated by miRNAs. From a scientific viewpoint, the project will increase our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying development and progression of tumors. From a clinical perspective, the expected benefit is that the reliability of classification and prognosis will be improved when using the miRNA expression signatures as a complement to current clinical methods, which often rely on subjective interpretation.

From the industry perspective there is a great potential in development of new kits for testing tumor samples, which is an important segment of the biomedical market. The partner company TATAA Biocenter AB also expects that the findings from the project will contribute to further development of their commercial training courses on molecular testing techniques. Similarly, the two participating academic research groups (Bioinformatics and Tumor Biology) expect that findings from the project will contribute to development of courses at advanced level in the host institution. Furthermore, the algorithms for identification of discriminatory miRNA expression signatures will be improved during the project, which gives opportunities to develop new software to be incorporated into the commercial gene expression analysis package GeneEx, in collaboration with the partner company MultiD AB.

The project is a collaboration between the Bioinformatics Research Group and the Tumor Biology Research Group, both within the Systems Biology Research Centre at the University of Skövde, and the two companies TATAA Biosciences AB and MultiD Analyses AB. The collaboration is a unique opportunity to combine the Tumor Biology group ́s long experience in research on cancer genetics, with the Bioinformatics group ́s competence in bioinformatics and data mining methods, as well as the experience of development of test kits for molecular markers at the TATAA Biocenter and MultiD AB ́s skills in development of commercial software for the biotech and biomedicine industries.

Companies involved:


TATAA Biocenter

MultiD Analyses


The Knowledge Foundation





Uppdaterad: 2010-09-28


 Karin Klinga Levan



Björn Olsson