Discovering the causes of three poorly understood cancers in Europe (DISCERN)
The overall goal of DISCERN is to understand the causes of three poorly understood cancers in Europe; renal, pancreatic and
colorectal cancer, and help to explain their geographical distribution, including their high incidence in central and eastern Europe.
This will be achieved by combining large-scale European biorepositories comprising population-based cohorts and tumour caseseries with state-of-the-art molecular profiling techniques and machine learning approaches. In particular, DISCERN will identify
potential new causal risk factors for the three cancers using novel exposomics and proteomics scans, as well detailed geospatial and
environmental exposure information from 16 large-scale epidemiological cohorts including almost 900,000 individuals. It will also
explore biological mechanisms on how these risk factors are potentially causing these cancer types with a focus on promoting factors
in normal tissues using deep sequencing, single cell multi-omics and spatial proteomics. The causal effects of identified cancer risk
factors and the cellular signalling responses they trigger will be further evaluated using a panel of stem cells and colon, renal and
pancreatic 3D organoids. The results from DISCERN will be disseminated to citizens, patients and policy makers through collaborating
patient and participant organizations. DISCERN will provide the critical evidence base required to develop new prevention strategies
to tackle the growing burden of renal, pancreatic and colorectal cancer in Europe.
Sustainable Development Goals
Masaryk University is committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which aim to improve the conditions and quality of life on our planet by 2030.