Beating cancer is a major challenge for research and innovation in the coming years. By 2030, it is estimated that over 1.5 million people in the EU will succumb to cancer. This disease has a huge impact on patients, families, healthcare systems, and society as a whole. The challenges in cancer research range from personalized prevention and early detection, to clinical trials, chemotherapy resistance, and the development of personalized medicine.
To overcome these challenges, empowering research-driven solutions is key. By adopting this approach, we not only improve the quality of life for patients and their families but also reduce healthcare costs. Tackling the complexity of cancer requires collaboration and coordination among researchers, healthcare professionals, policymakers, patients, and the community at large. COST Connect workshops serve as a platform for experts to exchange knowledge, foster collaborations, and accelerate progress in the fight against cancer.
COST Connect on coordinating cancer research in Europe: collaborating for progress
On 29 and 30 June 2023, COST Connect brought together stakeholders and COST Actions in different disciplines working on cancer related research topics to inform colleagues about their work and activities, and to explore potential interdisciplinary collaborations.
Alexandre Ceccaldi, the General secretary of The ETP Nanomedicine (ETPN), presented smart solutions offered by ETPN in the global fight against cancer. He highlighted the significance of connecting the right experts in the multidimensional landscape of cancer research. Alexandre Ceccaldi expressed ETPN's commitment to contributing, learning, and fostering fruitful collaborations with COST.
According to him, "ETPN Association can add value to COST Actions and COST in general ."
"The ETPN, with its commitment and savoir-faire in translating health technology innovations into patient-accessible solutions, is eager to learn, contribute, and foster fruitful collaborations with COST". (Alexandre Ceccaldi, General secretary of ETPN).
The event showcased several examples that illustrate the diverse range of topics and accomplishments:
COST Action Pan-European Network in Lipidomics and EpiLipidomics (EpiLipidNET) highlighted the significance of lipids in our bodies and their role in diseases like cancer, focusing on biomarkers for prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment evaluation.
COST Action Glioma MR Imaging 2.0 (GliMR) advanced the understanding of glioma, a type of brain tumor, by using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques to gather more accurate information for improved diagnosis and treatment.
COST Action Network for Optimized Astatine labeled Radiopharmaceuticals (NOAR) showcased the use of Astatine-211, a promising radionuclide, for Targeted Alpha Therapy (TAT) in cancer treatment, with the goal of making this technology accessible to all European citizens.
COST Action Genome Editing to Treat Humans Diseases (GenE-Humdi) highlighted the revolutionary research in genome editing technologies and its potential for treating genetic disorders, infectious diseases, and cancer through precise modifications of patients' genomes.
COST Action European andrology network- research coordination, education and public awareness (ANDRONET) stressed the importance of early detection in improving cancer outcomes and emphasised advances in screening technologies.
Furthermore, the COST Action Implementation Network Europe for Cancer Survivorship Care (INE-CSC) focused on cancer survivorship care and improving access to quality of life and survivorship support for cancer survivors in the EU.
These examples demonstrate the variety of topics discussed and accomplishments showcased at the COST Connect event. They highlight the progress and potential of collaborative cancer research. By fostering collaborations and addressing various aspects of cancer research, we can strive towards effective solutions in the fight against cancer.
" Amazing to see how many ideas come up if people with different background simply sit around one table and discuss possible solutions for a given problem. Diversity of expertise is the key!" Dr Maria Fedorova, vice-Chair of EpiLipidNET.