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Precision Testing Project

Background

The understanding and characterisation of the various types of cancer has very rapidly evolved in the last years. Mechanisms leading to uncontrolled cellular proliferations, invasiveness and metastatic processes are better understood and, in some cases, resulted in the discovery of novel specific treatments. Furthermore, cellular modifications leading to an anti-tumor immune response allow for new therapeutic approaches. Traditional tissue of origin diagnostic and tumor staging is not enough for an accurate diagnosis and high-quality pathology including, when appropriate, molecular characterisation of tumors is needed to make the best treatment choice and thus increase quality of life and treatment results for patients.

Unfortunately, knowledge of the needed tests and their potential role in guiding treatment choices as well as accessibility and reimbursement of these tests is still rather poor. From drug target evaluation to molecular oncology and advanced genomics, precision testing is aimed at enabling the administration of the right treatment to the right patient at the right time, leading to a better outcome. Some tests also help to avoid unnecessary treatment and reduce costs, including the unacceptable cost and stress of patients receiving an ineffective therapy that could be avoided. From the healthcare system perspective, precision testing brings more certainty on treatment outcomes and improves the sustainability and efficiency of healthcare. From the patient perspective, precision testing brings the possibility to find the best possible treatments and improves outcomes and quality of life.


However, due to regulatory, access and reimbursement barriers, even well proven precision testing is not offered to all patients in Europe, not speaking of the global level. There is also a lack of infrastructure needed to support and take advantage of genomic and molecular testing, including the development of networks to discuss the implications of the results in specific tumor boards. Even in countries where the infrastructure does exist, there is a need for adequate information, knowledge, and awareness of health care providers as well as education and empowerment of patients in order to ensure proper molecular characterisation of every patient’s tumor.

Aim and Vision

The Precision Testing Project (PTP) pursues the goal to increase knowledge and awareness among clinicians and patients (represented by patient organizations members) but also among all healthcare providers on how specific characterisation of cancers can improve the choice of the most appropriate treatment and lead to better outcomes.

The PTP will be a platform of mutual learning and exchange among all the stakeholders and will identify and outline the key messages and the content of the educational material needed to improve the appropriate use of precision testing. The PTP will be independently managed by SPCC who will help to develop educational materials as video webinars and an educational event to educate and empower patient advocates, health care providers and societies with knowledge about molecular cancer characterisation.

The long-term vision is to enable every clinician and patient to get appropriate state-of-the-art characterization of his or her tumor and in turn to ensure access to the best possible and most efficacious treatment for all patients.

In addition, empowered, knowledgeable and engaged patients and patient organisations together with healthcare providers and professional societies, will be able to efficiently advocate with policy makers and help overcome some of the barriers affecting precision testing access, availability and reimbursement.

Webinars

Six video webinars on Precision Testing will be carried out by SPCC in 2021.

  • “Best practices/state-of-the-art in precision testing in breast cancer”
    on demand - available at https://www.oncocorner.net/webinars/27

    Co-chairs: G. Pruneri, IT; M. Zambon, IT

    Welcome and introduction – G. Pruneri, IT

    1st presentation: “Meaningful approach to breast cancer tissue” - A. Batistatou, GR

    2nd presentation: “Testing for treatment decision (predictive; prognostic; genetic)” - F. Penault-Llorca, FR

    3rd presentation: “HER-2 positivity: what are the implications with new drugs” - G. Curigliano, IT

    4th presentation: “What marker for what drug(s)” - J. Gligorov, FR

    5th presentation: “What TESTS and what implications in "TRIPLE NEGATIVE" BrCa” - N. Harbeck, DE

 

  • “Best practices/state-of-the-art in precision testing in lung cancer”
    on demand - available at https://www.oncocorner.net/webinars/180

    Co-chairs: S. Novello, IT; A. M. Baird, IE

    Welcome and introduction – S. Novello, IT

    1st presentation: “The minimal testing needed, quality control” – U. Pastorino, IT

    2nd presentation: “Testing for treatment decision” – N. Normanno, IT

    3rd presentation: “How to evaluate NSCLC for immunotherapy” – G. Scagliotti, IT

    4th presentation: “Markers for specific drugs” – J. Remon-Masip, ES

    5th presentation: “What is the real value of "next generation sequencing" in lung cancer” – K. Kerr, UK

 

  • “Best practices/state-of-the-art in precision testing in colorectal cancer”
    on demand - available at https://www.oncocorner.net/webinars/189

     
    Co-chairs: S. Gijssels, BE; E. Van Cutsem, BE

    Welcome and introduction – S. Gijssels, BE

           1st presentation: “The landscape of precision therapy and translational research in metastatic CRC:
         recommendations and implications of biomarkers”
– E. Van Cutsem, BE

  • 2nd presentation:“Molecular screening and hereditary CRC” – K. Dahan, BE 

  • 3rd presentation:“What marker for what drug?” – J. Taieb, FR

  • 4th presentation: “Different techniques to detect circulating tumor DNA” – P. Laurent-Puig, FR

    5th presentation:“Immunoscore, a new tool for CRC molecular diagnostics” – J. Galon, FR

 

  • “New precision testing methodologies (NGS, CGP, circulating tumor cells)” 
    on demand - available via https://www.oncocorner.net/webinars/192


    Co-chairs:
    A. Batistatou, GR; J. Geissler, DE 

    Welcome and introduction – A. Batistatou, GR 

    1st presentation: “Molecular Pathology: from traditional histological classification to comprehensive genomic profiling” – H. Moch, CH

    2nd presentation: “NGS on solid and liquid biopsies” – K. Homicsko, CH

    3rd presentation: “The clinicians’ questions around NGS” – I. Boukovinas, GR

    4th presentation: “Genomic profiling and drugs” – C. Luchini, IT

    5th presentation: “Taking us towards true precision medicine” – A. Burt, UK

  • “Best practices in precision testing in selected cancers: which markers to test in order to ensure optimal treatment?”
    on demand at https://www.oncocorner.net/webinars/233

    Chair: D. Tiniakos, GR

    Welcome and introduction – D. Tiniakos, GR

    1st presentation: “Best practices/state-of-the-art in precision testing in lymphoma” – I. Aurer, HR

    2nd presentation: “State-of-the-art in precision testing in thyroid cancer” – M. Papotti, IT

    3rd presentation: “Precision medicine in prostate cancer” – A. Bjartell, SE

    4th presentation: “Best practices/state-of-the-art in precision testing in gastric cancer” – F. Carneiro, PT

     

  • “Rules, collaborations and harmonization to improve access to precision testing” 
    Available on demand from 29 November at 18:00 CET at https://www.oncocorner.net/webinars/236

          Co-chairs: M. Frattini, CH; P. Presti, IT

          Welcome and introduction – P. Presti, IT

          1st presentation: “How to enhance collaboration between pathologists and molecular biologists” – N. Fusco, IT

          2nd presentation: “The IQN Path/ECPC/EFPIA project on access and quality of biomarker tests in Europe” – N. Normanno, IT

          3rd presentation: “Regulatory perspective about tests associated with drugs: what is realistic?” – M. Paulmichl, AT

          4th presentation: “Accessibility to precision testing: barriers that need to be overcome” – M. Frattini, CH


Each webinar will consist of: an introductory video and some presentations recorded by Experts focusing on different topics.
The recorded videos, as well as educational material produced, will be made available on demand via www.oncocorner.net/home. The webinars are made possible thanks to unrestricted educational grants and/or unrestricted sponsorships from Bio-Pharma companies. CME accreditation will be granted.

Educational Event

Following the outcome of the webinars, SPCC will organize an educational meeting on the topic.
Event format and dates will be available at a later stage.