ROBoCoP: a Respiratory disease Occupational Biomonitoring Collaborative Project

M Rinaldo, J Pralong, N Hopf, JJ Sauvain, G Suarez, P Wild, I Guseva Canu, Institute for Work and Health, University of Lausanne, University of Geneva, Switzerland

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a major public health problem with a prevalence in Switzerland reaching 15.9% in men. Exposure to particulate matter (PM) is a known COPD risk factor via oxidative stress pathway. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and their metabolites could be predictive to COPD onset and be used as diagnostic biomarkers.

ROBoCop project, in the framework of CliniMark EU-COST Action, aims to select and validate a panel of oxidative stress biomarkers analyzed in non-invasive biological samples.

The research is divided into three studies:
- An experimental study aiming to standardize the biological sampling procedures and analytic techniques for oxidative stress biomarkers (8-isoprostane, malondialdehyde, NO2-, NO3-, formate ions and 8-OHdG) in exhaled breath condensate and urine and for oxidative potential in the exhaled air (OPEA) analyzed with our OPEA analyzer (EU and USA patent) a promising method in COPD diagnosis.
- A pilot study in the field, at a Parisian Transport Company (RATP) to determine the best time to collect samples and assess the suitability of the selected biomarkers in surveying RATP workers exposed to PM.
- A field study conducted among 300 RATP workers selected by stratified randomization from 45’000 workers. Statistical analyzes of medical examination (lung function test) and biomarkers data will aim to determine the associations of one or a panel of the selected biomarkers with obstructive syndrome (FEV1/FVC<70%).

Our results will allow us to validate a useful and cost-effective method in screening large populations at risk of COPD. It will also be useful in monitoring COPD evolution and severity in patients.
ROBoCop project is supported by the Swiss National Scientific Foundation and French RATP company and involves researchers and occupational physicians from Switzerland and France.
(Posted on 11 January 2018)

Waters MS Technology Days 2017: Evaluation of biomarkers predictive for Alzheimer's disease

During the Waters MS Technology Days 2017 in Basel (6/27) and Lausanne (6/27) research results were presented from a BDC study carried out in the group of Dr. Theo Luider at the Erasmus MC (Rotterdam) about development and application of an LC-MS assay to evaluate Pregnancy Zone Protein as potential biomarker for the prediction of Alzheimer's disease. Information about the meeting here.
(Posted on 24 August 2017)

EATRIS Conference, Prague, September 24-26, 2017

EATRIS, the European Infrastructure for Translational Medicine in which the BDC laboratories of profs Bischoff, Luider and van Gool are members, will hold its annual Translational Conference in Prague, September 24-26. Conference information here.
(Posted 17 May 2017)

Bridging the translational innovation gap through good biomarker practice

In collaboration with the European technology infrastructures EATRIS, BBMRI and ELIXIR, prof van Gool and other scientists from the Biomarker Development Center published a comment in Nature Reviews Drug Discovery to join efforts in defining the Good Biomarker Principle guidelines that will support successful biomarker discovery and development activities. These guidelines will be defined in the COST action CliniMARK, initiated and coordinated by dr Luider of the BDC. See comment here.
(Posted 10 May 2017)

CliniMARK Kick-off meeting

The CliniMARK network has the goal of establishing "Best Biomarker Practice" (BBP) guidelines to radically improve the process from biomarker discovery to clinical use. The kick-off meeting was held at the COST offices in Brussels on March 14, 2017. A plan was developed to define BBP guidelines and to apply these guidelines for the validation of biomarkers with COPD as an example. The next meeting will be held from October 5 to 7, 2017, at the Erasmus MC (Rotterdam) in conjunction with the Biomarker Symposium. For further information please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
(Posted 20 March 2017)

COST action on good biomarker practice

Biomarker Development Center (BDC) leads new COST action 'CliniMARK' on good biomarker practice to increase the number of clinically validated biomarkers (COST Action number: CA16113) funded by the European Commission. This network comprises members from 16 countries including Canada and the USA.
(Posted 06 November 2016)

Europe Biobanking Week

The recent Europe Biobanking Week in Vienna focused on the use of biospecimens and was organized by BBMRI and ESBB. Eight hundred participants followed Prof. van Gool's lecture about the necessity of improving the quality and not the quantity of biomarker candidates and developing them into valid, clinically relevant assays. The slides of the lecture can be consulted here.
(Posted 12 October 2016)