Research at the University of Pardubice gains worldwide recognition

26. 1. 2022

The method of pancreatic cancer diagnosis, as discovered by the team of analytical chemist Michal Holčapek of the Faculty of Chemical Technology, University of Pardubice, has earned worldwide recognition. The result of the research has been published by the prestigious journal Nature Communications, which publishes only the best discoveries from all areas of natural sciences in the world.

The cited method of diagnosing pancreatic cancer can detect the disease at an early stage by analysing lipids from just a drop of blood. The group of prof. Michal Holčapek obtained a European patent for this diagnosis in 2020, which was also verified by scientists at specialized workplaces in Germany and Singapore. At the end of 2021, the Minister of Education gave this researcher the Award for Outstanding Results in Research, Experimental Development and Innovation in the Natural Sciences. The publication in the journal Nature Communications is the most valuable achievement of this research.

"The European patent had already been a very important milestone for us, as the patent office recognized our research as unique. As a scientist, I personally value the current publication in the journal Nature Communications the most," said prof. Michal Holčapek of the Faculty of Chemical Technology, University of Pardubice.

The entire research on lipid analysis started in 2013, with a ten-member scientific team now working on it. It also includes the Austrian scientist Denise Wolrab, who is the first author. "My goal was to successfully complete the development of a pancreatic cancer screening method. It was several years of work that would not have been possible without the support of colleagues in the group," said Denise Wolrab, Dr.

"I am very happy that I managed to create a group of young people who really enjoy scientific work. Without their extraordinary dedication and diligence in experimental work, we would never have reached this level," added Michal Holčapek.

In the coming months, the Czech company FONS, which owns a network of clinical laboratories and will help verify the method in clinical practice, plans to join the results of the work of Pardubice scientists. The merger and creation of a spin-off company will bring the results of research closer to common use.

For the University of Pardubice, this is the second publication in Nature Communications in a single year. The first publication in this prestigious journal was earned by the research conducted by prof. Aleš Růžička of the Faculty of Chemical Technology, who was the first in the world to prepare positively charged carboranes. The formation of boron, hydrogen and carbon compounds in this form contradicts the usual chemical rules. In the future, these compounds with unique properties could help, for example, in the treatment of cancer or become the basis for completely new materials.