Since its founding in December 2006, with the support and in collaboration with the King Baudouin Foundation, the Fondation Fournier-Majoie (FFM) supports medical research projects focused on cancer biomarkers. The FFM encourages the laureates to get themselves involved - personally or in partnership - in the process of effective provision of their discoveries to the benefit of the patients.
The FFM launches yearly calls for projects towards Belgian-based researchers, analyses the candidate applications in association with a Scientific and Technical Committee prior to submit them to a Jury composed by international experts in cancerology. Based on the reports of the experts and of the Jury members, a final ranking leads to the nomination of the laureate(s) of the year.
The laureates benefit not only of a financial support but also of a follow-up from the FFM consisting out of advices and contacts with healthcare professionals.
KULeuven (laureate 2007) - Prostate cancer
The technology showed a possible application for a potential test with high sensitivity and high specificity. 2 patents have been applied. Based on very promising results, the FFM has extended financial and advisory support for another complementary year. Validation process is on its way. Industrial partners are on finding.
UGent (laureate 2007) – Liver cancer
Markers that may predict a fibrosis and further a cirrhosis evolution in patients with viral hepatitis contamination are on their way through validation. The predictive issue toward liver cancer is not achieved in spite of additional important efforts.
VUB (laureate 2008) - Glioblastoma (the most frequent brain cancer in adulthood still a rare disease)
Specific antibodies against a marker in tumour cells has been produced on the lab scale with a confirmed process. Experimental approach to tumour samples is to start by early 2012.
UGent (laureate 2008) - Neuroblastoma (neural tissue cancer in young children, an orphan disease)
2 patents have been already applied with a third one undertaken. This covers genetic profiles and those genes involved in the neuroblastoma signature with already shown differences according to the prognostic grade. The validation step has been initiated. Partnering is already open with candidates from the industry.
UGent (laureate 2009) - Neuroblastoma (neural tissue cancer in young children, an orphan disease)
Gene sequences identification among those involved in the methylation process has been started by the end of 2010. Signatures are now under investigation as to select the most differentiations.
KULeuven (laureate 2009) - Prostate and Kidney tumours
The lipid profiles of different pathologic tissues have shown differences among a first cohort of biosamples and happen to show significant differences. This confirms the diagnostic and prognostic capacity of this approach. The validation process HAS BEEN undertaken during the second semester in 2011. A first patent has been applied.
KULeuven (laureate 2010) – Colorectal cancer
Peripheral blood monocytes as potential predictive biomarkers for CRC diagnosis and progression
Among white blood cells, monocytes intervene peculiarity in certain pathologies. They are able to generate active cells in the defence reaction vis-à-vis pathologies, the cancer among others. These white blood cells are carriers of a genetic signature; the characteristics seem to vary in a way such as these signatures could become markers witnesses of a predictable evolution of colon and rectum cancer. It was revealed by the preliminary works.
* On 3rd February 2011, the foundation held its annual Awards Ceremony on grants given to one new laureate, Massimiliano Mazzone of the call for projects 2010 and officially launched the fifth call for projects for the year 2011 focused on cancer biomarkers.
* On 24th September 2011, the foundation held it’s second “FFMI’s Friends Meeting” dedicated again to research valorisation, with concrete samples of good practices in Project Management & Intellectual Property Protection.
* Development of the contacts established between the foundation and other institutions specialized in the financing of medical and scientific research.
* Development of the contacts established between the foundation and other foundations or organization dedicated to cancer research.
Constitution of the “Fonds des Amis de la FFMI” carried by Fondation Roi Baudouin.
Launch of the new website, more complete and user friendly both for private individual and scientist. The base-line “Ensemble, cerner et vaincre le cancer” synthesizes the Mission of the Foundation.
Award ceremony for the fifth call of project and launch the sixth call, always focused on cancer biomarkers.