Cancer Core Europe

Effective treatment of cancer remains one of the biggest medical challenges in the world, due to the large diversity in mutations in individual patients. To tackle this problem, cancer research will need to be performed at a larger scale than is currently possible within single cancer institutes. Therefore, Gustave Roussy Cancer Campus Grand Paris, the Cambridge Cancer Centre, Karolinska Institutet, the NKI - Netherlands Cancer Institute, Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology and the German Cancer Research Center with the National Center for Tumor Diseases (DKFZ-NCT) Heidelberg have jointly decided to create Cancer Core Europe as a working consortium.

Addressing the cancer care-cancer research continuum challenge

Contacts

University of Cambridge
Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, Department of Oncology
Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Critical mass of clinical and scientific expertise

Yearly 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. More than 1500 clinical trials are being conducted at these six cancer centres annually. Together with the strengths in basic and translational cancer research, this represents a unique critical mass of activity that when successfully harmonised in one operational clinical research structure will represent and harness a major force in European cancer research

Scientific and Clinical Infrastructure

To build the infrastructure of the consortium task forces have been established in each of the Centres in the domains of “e-hospital”, translational research platforms, harmonization of diagnostics, imaging, omics, biobanking, shared databases, and a virtual joint clinical trial infrastructure (i.e. joint sponsoring of clinical trials).

  1. Molecular Diagnostics
  2. Imaging
  3. Information technology and data sharing
  4. Clinical Trials
  5. Immuno-oncology
Molecular Diagnostics

The goal of of the molecular diagnostics platform is to have a common set of diagnostic tests and platforms that can be carried out in each centre. This will facilitate the conduct of joint clinical trials and provide consistency between the centres. The specific goals include:

  • Establishing a common panel of genes available in 6 centres
  • Common pipelines for alignment, variant calling, and analysis
  • Circulating information on molecularly defined clinical groups to decide on appropriate therapies
  • Common controls ensure genomic data is high-quality and uniform
Cancer Imaging

The cancer imaging working group is establishing a data repository for data sharing and developing standards that can be used for monitoring patient responses. Specific goals include:

  • Incorporate clinical imaging into a data sharing platform
  • Develop predictive modeling for responses to immuno-oncology agents
  • Identify standards for response that can be harmonised across the network
Clinical Trials

The clinical trial working group has the broad goal of developing innovative trials for looking at personalised approaches to treat cancer and for identifying opportunities for working with investigators within the Centre's and with pharmaceutical companies collaborative clinical trials. The specific goals of the working group are:

  • Evaluate whether matching treatment to molecular abnormalities induces antitumor activity
  • Profiling patients according to molecular signatures and pathway alterations
  • Evaluate tumor heterogeneity, sensitivity, and resistance
  • Basket trials
  • Follow up of patients using biopsies and cfDNA
  • Innovative statistical designs
Information Technology and Data Sharing

Sharing data across the consortium is an important goal and will be critical to the long term sustainability of the Consortium. The overall goals of this working group will be achieved through a combination of pilot projects and funding through European Initiatives.

  • Create platform allowing the exchange of data (genomic, imaging, clinical, treatment outcomes) across centers
  • Use common standards to ensure data interoperability
  • Implement mandatory metadata directory
  • First step will incorporate diseases where using the data for discovery-based research has potential to make an impact
Progress to Date

Cancer Core Europe was established on July 4 2014 when the consortium agreement of Cancer Core Europe was signed in Paris by all members representing their Institutions.

  • Alexander Eggermont        (Gustave Roussy)
  • Carlos Caldas                      (Cambridge)
  • Ulrik Ringborg                      (Karolinska)
  • René Medema                     (NKI)
  • Josep Tabernero                 (VHIO)
  • Otmar Wiestler                     (DKFZ-NCT)
Dr. Fabien Calvo serves as the Scientiifc Office of Cancer Core Europe.  Dr. Calvo  is a pharmacology professor, a past deputy at France’s National Cancer Institute (INCa) and has been part of numerous research networks, including co-launching the International Cancer Genome Consortium in 2008.
 
The consortium has been successful in grant applications and has received funding from:
  • EIT Health on Innovation for Personalised Medicine (I4PCM)
  • Transcan - Heterogeneity in Breast and Ovarian Cancers
  • ANR - Support of Educational programmes
The First Annual Meeting of the Cancer Core Network was held in Amsterdam in February 2016 and was attended by over 100 delegates that included representatives from a number of biotechnolgy and pharmaceutical companies.
 
Please contact Professor Carlos Caldas or Dr. Kenneth Seamon for more information on this initiative.