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Distinction of the Patras_Medicine student team at the Global Synthetic Biology Competition “iGEM 2022”


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This year’s concept is oriented around the early diagnosis of lung cancer

The student group Patras_Medicine participated in Global Synthetic Biology Competition “iGEM 2022” (international Genetically Engineered Machine) held in Paris, October 26-28, 2022. The competition was attended by a total of 356 teams from 42 countries and distinguished Universities worldwide.

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The student group Patras_Medicine with her work “syn-PNOIA – Redefining Lung Cancer Diagnosis” after evaluation by a jury of 5 judges conquered the following in the Undergraduate category:

– Gold metal

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– 1st Prize in the “Diagnostics” Category (Best Diagnostics Project)

– 1st Prize for the best website (Best Wiki Award)

The “iGEM” Competition started in 2003 as an initiative of the MIT University and since 2012 is under the auspices of the non-profit foundation “iGEM Foundation”.

Patras Medicine, iGEM 2022

This year’s team, made up of experienced and dedicated members, lays the foundations for the research approach to medical issues by students, in the context of the iGEM Competition 2022.

The group is made up of students from the departments of Pharmacy, Medicine, Nursing, Civil and Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautics and was formed after a collaboration between the Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry of the Department of Chemistry and the Laboratory of Biochemistry/Metastatic Signaling in the field of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development of the Department of Biology of the University of Patras.

This year’s concept is oriented around the early diagnosis of lung cancer, which is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. There are two types of lung cancer, small cell and non-small cell (87% of cases).

The small cell type is more aggressive and metastasizes more often and the preferred treatment is chemotherapy, while the non-small cell type is the most common and is treated with surgical removal.

Both types are diagnosed with a histological biopsy, a procedure in which part of the cancerous tumor is removed for analysis in the laboratory. However, it is a painful, time-consuming and expensive procedure, which can cause complications for the patient.

The Liquid Biopsy, that is, taking and analyzing biological fluids, is a very useful way of diagnosing cancer. It is fast, simple, safe, painless and can be repeated many times. Samples obtained during liquid biopsy can be preserved relatively easily compared to tissue samples. In addition, they have many biomarkers, through the detection and quantification of which we draw conclusions about the health of a person.

Taking into account the above, this year’s project of Patras_Medicine aims to develop a diagnostic tool for the detection of lung cancer in the initial stages. For this purpose, the method of liquid biopsies will be used, specifically the taking of a blood sample from the patient, for the detection and quantification of three biomarkers.

This technique can work as an examination (check-up) for people with an increased probability of this type of cancer, such as chronic smokers, but also for anyone who wishes to be examined for the occurrence of lung cancer. Sample analysis can be done in just 70 minutes, using widely available and inexpensive reagents. In this way, the technique is accessible to diagnostic centers, hospitals and clinics.

Therefore, by proposing the above method that combines safety, speed and reliability, our team sets the goal of early diagnosis of lung cancer, increasing the response of patients to treatment by 80%.

For more details you can visit the website of Patras_Medicine.

The Patras_Medicine team consists of the following members:

– Eleftherios Bohalis, 3rd Year, Department of Pharmacy
– Irini Derekis, 4th Year, Department of Pharmacy
– Anatoli Betsu, 3rd Year, Department of Pharmacy
– Garifalina Konidis, 3rd Year, Department of Pharmacy
– Nikiforos Chandrinos, 4th Year, Department of Pharmacy
– Athena Giannakopoulou, 5th Year, Department of Civil Engineering
– Sofianos Souliotis, 5th Year, Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering
– Christos Karaoglanis, 2nd Year, Department of Medicine
– Ilias Velissariou, 3rd Year, Military Nursing, National Kapodistrian University of Athens
– Grigoris Derekis, 1st High School Student

Guidance – Instructors

– Iota Kalligosfyri, Post-PhD, Department of Chemistry
– Vassilis Vardas, PhD Candidate, Department of Biology
– Eleni Lambrou, PhD Candidate, Department of Chemistry
– Markos Sotiriou, Master’s Student, Department of Chemistry
– Christodoulos Bohalis, Master’s Student, University of Piraeus / “Demokritos” Research Center

Scientific Officers

– Despina Kalogianni, Assistant Professor, Analytical Chemistry Laboratory, Department of Chemistry
– Galatea Kallergi, Assistant Professor. Laboratory of Biochemistry/Metastatic Signaling in Genetics, Cell Biology and Development, Department of Biology

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