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FKB-Forskningssentre for klinisk behandling

Multimodal Approach Targeting treatment Refractory cancers usIng neXt generation technologies and trials

Alternative title: Nasjonalt forskningssenter for klinisk kreftbehandling

Awarded: NOK 128.0 mill.

More than 38 000 patients were diagnosed with cancer in Norway in 2022. Although most patients recover, cancer is still the number one death cause in Norway, and more than 11,000 died of the disease last year. In recent years, we have seen important improvements in several cancer diagnoses, with improved prognosis, but unfortunately some cancers are still very difficult to treat effectively. Moreover, many patients live substantially longer, but also experience long-term side effects from the treatment or the disease. MATRIX, the Norwegian Centre for Clinical Cancer Research, is a national research centre with an over-all ambition to help patients with hard-to-treat cancers to live longer with better quality of life. In addition to survival, quality of life, maintaining functional capacity and relief from symptoms are of the utmost importance to all cancer patients. Improved methods for diagnostics and therapy as well as systematic and effective methods for symptom management and follow-up need to be developed further. MATRIX aims to implement systematic digital symptom mapping and are in the process of developing new, digital patient-centred care pathways. The digital solution is being developed in collaboration with DNV Imatis, and four hospitals in Norway (Ålesund, Førde, Skien and Oslo) are currently involved in the process. Plans are now being made for testing a prototype. To improve patient outcomes, one main research focus in MATRIX is to develop new diagnostic tools. This includes cancer drug sensitivity screening, meaning treating cancer cells from the patient with different drugs, to identify the most effective ones for the specific patient. Use of liquid biopsies, in-depth analyses of proteins and other molecules will be investigated to enable individualized treatment. In addition, MATRIX works on developing and use imaging and artificial intelligence in diagnosis and treatment. An overarching goal in MATRIX is to offer as many patients as possible treatment in a clinical study. A national network, that includes 16 hospitals with cancer departements, is established, and the Centre has a mechanism for supporting hospitals that treat patients in MATRIX clinical trials. Patient-centred treatment is also part of the clinical studies connected to MATRIX. MATRIX has been operational for one year. In 2023, MATRIX has recruited a professor at OsloMet (20% position), and seven researchers and PhD fellows have been recruited to the different work packages. Furthermore, a registration form where partners in the Centre can register new clinical trials and apply for support, is in place and can be accessed from the MATRIX website. The national management team have monthly meetings were potential trials are discussed. A Board is established with Sigbjørn Smeland, head of the cancer clinic at Oslo University Hospital, as chair. Moreover, a Scientific Advisory Board with five internationally renowned clinicians and researchers with expertise in precision medicine and cancer research, has been appointed, and the first SAB meeting will take place in January 2024. MATRIX has in collaboration with OsloMet developed and established a new master course at OsloMet (MATVIT5800): Introduction to clinical studies for healthcare personnel. The first course held in the fall 2023 was fully booked with a waiting list and with participants from across Norway. MATRIX has also, in collaboration with OUS and ACTA Oncologica, organized a large conference in Oslo within precision cancer medicine, the Nordic Precision Cancer Medicine Symposium. Altogether, around 260 people participated in this event, and over two days, 20 world-leading speakers from Australia, the USA, and Europe shared their knowledge and gave inspiring talks. News and other information from MATRIX is published regularly on the centre's website: The Centre also uses social media and sends out quarterly newsletters.

In MATRIX, we will take advantage of on-going large national precision cancer medicine initiatives, the national tumor groups, the national initiatives in patient-centered care and the unique infrastructure for clinical trials to facilitate development and implementation of next generation cancer care. Diagnostics: We will develop new diagnostic methods in molecular profiling (-omics), drug sensitivity screening, immune system characterization, PROMs and AI tools for analysis of images and clinical real-world data. Collaboration with the newly established national infrastructure for precision diagnostics will enable systematically and rapid testing of the clinical benefit of diagnostic tools in the ongoing precision medicine trial IMPRESS-Norway, which will be further developed in MATRIX. Treatment: We will develop and test new treatment strategies in clinical trials. We will test novel combination of drugs based on newly establish diagnostic tools to overcome resistance. Integration with the newly establish Centre for Advanced Cell Therapy will allow us to test novel approaches for cell therapy. Patient Centered Care: Experience from the ongoing precision medicine initiatives in Norway clearly shows the need for tools that ensures that patient preferences and patient communication is integrated into the treatment decision. We will therefore take advantage of ongoing research project on e-Health solutions for integrating patient preferences into the decision process. Participation of the established large clinical trial network of MATRIX involving most hospitals in Norway with a cancer division will ensure access for patients and competence building across the country. A clinical trial engine will be established to ensure competence building (regulatory, logistics etc.) for advanced clinical trials (e.g. cell therapy) to facilitate future trial capacity and establishing Norway at the forefront of coming developments in cancer therapy.

Publications from Cristin

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FKB-Forskningssentre for klinisk behandling

Thematic Areas and Topics

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