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03 Oct 2014

Core values for a new cancer culture: six centres create Cancer Core Europe

Six cancer centres of international note have announced the creation of Cancer Core Europe: a consortium to address the cancer care/cancer research continuum challenge.

The optimal treatment of cancer remains one of the major medical challenges globally, due to the high diversity in the spectrum of mutations in individual cancer patients.

To tackle this issue, cancer programmes must be better integrated and performed at a large scale.

European cancer research is therefore in need of a transformative initiative whereby a consortium of comprehensive cancer centres of excellence will work collectively to carry out joint translational and clinical research in cancer treatment and care.

To deliver this objective, Gustave Roussy Cancer Campus Grand Paris (Villejuif – France), Cambridge Cancer Centre (Cambridge, United Kingdom), Karolinska Institutet – KI (Stockholm, Sweden), Netherlands Cancer Institute – NKI (Amsterdam, The Netherlands), Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology – VHIO (Barcelona, Spain) and the German Cancer Research Center – DKFZ and its National Centre for Tumour Diseases – NCT (Heidelberg, Germany) have jointly decided to create Cancer Core Europe.

As a working consortium, Cancer Core Europe will be a translational platform to build the bridge from "bench-to-bedside and bedside-to-bench" and to conduct next-generation clinical trials focused on proof-of-concept, companion predictive and resistance-monitoring biomarkers.

The creation of a virtual single “e-hospital”

The prerequisites for joint translational and clinical research programmes are very demanding.

These require a powerful translational platform that integrates all patient files using a common software platform that federates the databases from each of the centres; inter-compatible clinical molecular profiling laboratories with a robust underlying computational biology pipeline; standardised functional and molecular imaging; commonly agreed standard operating procedures for liquid and tissue biopsy procurement, storage and processing, for molecular diagnostics, “-omics”, functional genetics, immune-monitoring; a culture of data collection and storage that facilitates complete longitudinal data sets.

A critical mass of activity for the successful integration of all cancer care information, clinical research and outcome research

Cancer Core Europe is expected to support the full spectrum of research required to address the cancer research – cancer care continuum. Cancer Core Europe also constitutes a unique environment for the training of up-and-coming talents in innovative translational and clinical oncology.

Within the Cancer Core Europe consortium around 60,000 newly diagnosed cancer patients are seen, 300,000 cancer treatments are delivered and about 1,000,000 outpatient visits are performed every year.

More than 1,500 clinical trials are conducted at these six cancer centres annually.

This represents a "unique critical mass" of activity, that once successfully harmonised as one operational clinical research structure, will represent a major force in European cancer research.

 

To read the article in the Journal of Molecular Oncology click here.

For more on this watch the interview with Alexander Eggermont on ecancer.tv.

Source: Gustave Roussy

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