R.E. Kavetsky Institute of Experimental Pathology, Oncology, and Radiobiology

KIEPOR of National Academy of Science of Ukraine (NASU) is a strong academic center with more than 50 years of experience in the field of experimental and clinical oncology.

The main topic of research at KIEPOR is a work on biology of tumor cell and the tumor microenvironment, and a study on molecular mechanisms of oncogenesis with the aim to develop personalized medicine. Another aspect of the work is an investigation of molecular features of metabolic regulation in cancer with the aim to develop the biotechnological approaches and sorption-based technologies for the anti-cancer treatment. Yet another field of research is to find out the molecular and cellular markers of the initiation, promotion and progression of tumors, and create panels of markers for the early diagnostics and prognosis of the course of disease. Among important directions of research are studies on the influence of potentially carcinogenic environmental factors (chemical carcinogens, ionizing and non-ionizing radiation) on carcinogenesis and development of the agents that can counteract these factors. Under an umbrella of translational medicine, researchers are working on innovations in diagnostics and anti-cancer treatment, including the development of anti-cancer vaccine.

The Scientific Council and the Specialized Dissertation Advisory Council (D.26.155.01) at KIEPOR has the right to grant degrees of Doctor of Science (Dr Sci, Dr Hab) and PhD in Medical and Biological Sciences with the specialty 14.01.07 (Oncology). The international journals “Experimental Oncology” (founded in 1979) and “Oncology” (founded in 1999) are issued by KIEPOR. At KIEPOR, the bank of cell lines is created that consists of more than 35 000 cell cultures. This bank has the status of the National Heritage of Ukraine from 2001. KIEPOR is a member of the Organization of European Cancer Institutes (OECI-EEIG). Leading researchers of KIEPOR are members of numerous international organizations, such as American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the British Association for Cancer Research (BACR), the European Association for Cancer Research (EACR), the European Society For Medical Oncology (ESMO), the European Society for Hyperthermic Oncology (ESHO), the International Network For Cancer Treatment and Research (INCTR), the European Society Gynaecologic of Oncology (ESGO), and EBV-association. KIEPOR has hosted numerous national and international scientific forums.

An Ukrainian team leads research in the field of the molecular and cell biology of cancer, with the aim to reveal molecular mechanisms of oncogenesis. Recently it was shown by the team members, in collaboration with Professor George Klein, that the human mitochondrial ribosomal protein MRPS18-2 (S18-2) could bind RB1 protein, preventing association of RB1 with E2F1 and promoting the S-phase (Snopok et al., 2006; Kashuba et al., 2008). Moreover, overexpression of S18-2 protein led to immortalization of primary rat embryonic fibroblasts and induced expression of embryonic stem cell markers (Kashuba et al., 2009). We have also shown that pathways, that are characteristic for rapidly proliferating cells, were upregulated in the S18-2 immortalized cells depending on overexpression of S18-2 protein. Elevated expression of S18-2 in stem cells (our findings and the analysis of the published microarray data) raises a question whether this protein can be a promising target for anti-cancer vaccine.

These unique findings are the base for the proposed project aimed to propose the new markers for early diagnostics and/or prognosis of the course of cancer disease. No doubt, that some markers could be the promising targets for anti-cancer vaccination.

The Twinning project gives us an opportunity to widen the expertise of our group towards the field of the immunotherapy of cancer. In the result of the Twinning project the members of Ukrainian team will get the possibility to extent their research network, take part in the training (both in wet lab and during meetings), and exchange with their expertise during workshops based in Kyiv and other countries.