Project information
Discovering the causes of three poorly understood cancers in Europe (DISCERN)

Project Identification
Project Period
1/2023 - 12/2027
Investor / Pogramme / Project type
European Union
MU Faculty or unit
Faculty of Science
Cooperating Organization
International Agency for Research on Cancer

The overall goal of DISCERN is to understand the causes of three poorly understood cancers in Europe; renal, pancreatic and colorectal cancer, and help to explain their geographical distribution, including their high incidence in central and eastern Europe.
This will be achieved by combining large-scale European biorepositories comprising population-based cohorts and tumour caseseries with state-of-the-art molecular profiling techniques and machine learning approaches. In particular, DISCERN will identify
potential new causal risk factors for the three cancers using novel exposomics and proteomics scans, as well detailed geospatial and environmental exposure information from 16 large-scale epidemiological cohorts including almost 900,000 individuals. It will also
explore biological mechanisms on how these risk factors are potentially causing these cancer types with a focus on promoting factors in normal tissues using deep sequencing, single cell multi-omics and spatial proteomics. The causal effects of identified cancer risk factors and the cellular signalling responses they trigger will be further evaluated using a panel of stem cells and colon, renal and pancreatic 3D organoids. The results from DISCERN will be disseminated to citizens, patients and policy makers through collaborating patient and participant organizations. DISCERN will provide the critical evidence base required to develop new prevention strategies to tackle the growing burden of renal, pancreatic and colorectal cancer in Europe.

Sustainable Development Goals

Masaryk University is committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which aim to improve the conditions and quality of life on our planet by 2030.

Sustainable Development Goal No.  3 – Good health and well-being Sustainable Development Goal No.  8 – Decent work and economic growth Sustainable Development Goal No.  9 – Industry, innovation and infrastructure Sustainable Development Goal No.  10 – Reduced inequalities Sustainable Development Goal No.  11 – Sustainable cities and communities Sustainable Development Goal No.  12 – Responsible consumption and production Sustainable Development Goal No.  13 – Climate action Sustainable Development Goal No.  15 – Life on land Sustainable Development Goal No.  16 – Peace, justice and strong institutions Sustainable Development Goal No.  17 – Partnerships for the goals


Total number of publications: 1

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