Working on New EU Research Projects

Working on New EUSIOPE has been selected as the leading partner for dissemination in two new EU project applications, BRIDGE and PICORET. The applications for BRIDGE (‘Biopsy as a Novel Healthcare Intervention to Improve Outcome of Children with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma’) and PICORET (‘Population Improvement in Childhood cancer Outcomes through Research, Evaluation and Training’) have been submitted to the Horizon 2020 research call PHC18-2015 ‘Establishing effectiveness of health care interventions in the paediatric population’. They focus respectively on a specific diagnostic treatment for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) and on improving the current level of outcome research in Europe.

The PICORET project aims to establish a clinical epidemiology framework programme for outcome research in childhood cancer. The current population-based cancer registries measure overall but not relapse-free survival, and this means that there is insufficient data on the effectiveness of first line therapy at a population level. PICORET proposes therefore a new research approach using clinical observational studies and e-Health research, to (a) increase knowledge of the effectiveness of the best available cancer therapy in childhood, including risks (short and long term toxicities) and benefits (relapse-free survival, quality of survival) at a European level and (b) obtain the highest possible survival across Europe by supporting clinical research partnerships with Eastern European countries. This will improve safety and efficacy of childhood cancer treatments and improve quality of life for survivors.

Among all paediatric cancers, brain tumours are the main cause of cancer-related deaths, and Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) is the most severe form of brain tumours. Unlike many other paediatric cancers, there has been little progress in improving survival rates for DIPG over the last decades. The BRIDGE project aims to evaluate, validate and introduce stereotactic biopsies in the pons, a new potentially life-saving healthcare intervention in children with DIPG, which could unravel the DIPG complex biology in order to identify personalised targeted therapies and innovate the current standard treatment. This could represent an important paradigm-shift in DIPG healthcare interventions, and thus open the way to better outcomes for children and young people with this disease.

SIOPE decided to be part of both project proposals, as part of its mission to ensure the best possible care and outcome for all children and young people with cancer in Europe, and to represent the European multidisciplinary paediatric oncology community.

This new leadership role for dissemination will ensure continuity and avoid fragmentation. We will provide a European platform for dissemination and promotion of the aims and outcomes of both projects, strong of our long-lasting expertise and track record in the dissemination of EU-funded projects (ENCCA, PanCareSurfUp, EXPO-r-NeT, EPAAC). Our Society also benefits from a privileged position to promote the project within the wider international cancer community, being a Founding Member of ECCO (The European Cancer Organisation) and the European branch of SIOP (the International Society of Paediatric Oncology).

The integration of these projects in the SIOPE dissemination plan will also ensure the project coherence with the long-term strategic plan of the European paediatric haemato-oncology community: sharing knowledge and investigating the effectiveness of modern approaches to tumour treatment and classification will surely contribute to improving the cure rates and the quality of cure of childhood cancer patients in Europe, the two main goals identified in this strategy (see article in this newsletter). In order to improve patient/public empowerment, we will jointly plan the two projects’ dissemination with engaged parent/patient and survivors advocates from all over Europe by collaborating with the Childhood Cancer International (CCI) Europe Regional Committee.

More information: Horizon 2020