Prof. Swinnen (2013)

Project details

Project start: 
Kidney Cancer
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven)


Discovery and development of diagnostic, prognostic, predictive and toxicity biomarkers for renal cell carcinoma (RCC) 

Why ?

Renal cell carcinoma (RCC, also known as hypernephroma) develops in the tubules of the kidney, part of the filtering system.
RCC is the most common type of kidney cancer in adults, responsible for approximately 80% of cases It is also known to be the most lethal of all the genitourinary tumors.

Scientific project description

The project concentrated so far on mass spectrometry-based lipid profiling to explore changes in phospholipids upon cancer development. The team also has set-up qPCR assays for lipid metabolizing enzymes. Proof of concept studies have been performed in renal cell carcinoma (RCC), lung and prostate cancer. 

In the context of the FFM financing, Johan is now focusing on RCC. Verification studies on RCC tissue samples are ongoing and a cancer selective exosome capture platform is under development. In a second step lipidomics and transcriptomics on pure exosomes (extracted from serum & urine of RCC patients) will be performed.

Key findings

  • lipid profiling (Lipidomics) on tissues and body fluids has potential for biomarker development
  • exosomes hold great promise for biomarker development but development of better exosome capturing technology is required


  • IP has been secured on the lipidomics platform technology
  • Exosome capturing technology development ongoing
  • Verification studies on RCC tissue ongoing

Budget (original + follow-on)

Committed/spent: €940.750/€500.725

Qualification & Verification
Platform selection & Clinical Assay
Prof. Swinnen (2013)
Kidney Cancer

Follow-on valorization project