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Biomarkers Workshop in Graz: Finding Solutions for the Advancement of Personalized Cancer Treatment

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Brussels/Graz, May 8, 2014: The Workshop, “Tissue-based Biomarkers for Advancement of Personalized Cancer Treatment” held on the 28th – 29th March 2014 in Graz, Austria, brought together the key stakeholders from pathology and biomedical research, cancer organizations, patient advocacy groups, and industry.

The organizers of the workshop included BBMRI.AT – the Austrian node of the Biobanking and BioMolecular Resources Research Infrastructure (BBMRI-ERIC), the Medical University of Graz and the European Society of Pathology, as well as the Organisation of European Cancer Institutes (OECI).

The workshop’s main objectives were to develop a concept of how to make better use of archive tissue material for research, the development and validation of biomarkers and to establish opportunities for funding. Creating harmonized standards and procedures is essential to further develop and exploit this unique resource.

Kurt Zatloukal, Professor of Pathology at the Medical University Graz, Austria, and Coordinator of the preparatory phase of BBMRI, highlighted the importance of using these tissue samples, “We urgently need to better utilize this enormous amount of tissue samples generated in the context of health care to generate the knowledge for successful addressing of the challenges related to aging society and financing of health care in future”

Biological databanks and archives have a large number of clinical information and tissues that can be better used to shorten the period for clinical application of new biomarkers and for more useful subgrouping of patients with homogeneous clinical and molecular characteristics. 

The “Tissue-based Biomarkers for Advancement of Personalized Cancer Treatment” workshop was the ideal platform in bringing together European organizations and stakeholders in a multidisciplinary way. 

Participants considered the different aspects to improve this field of study at the epidemiological, pre-analytical, technical, and interpretation level. 

The result of the project will include more information in clinics about new therapy results and better preparation of prospective clinical studies. 

The collection of molecular information from large case studies from human tissues could also provide an improvement to the development of precision medicine. 

The workshop brought together over 86 participants from 20 countries including major European experts who came together to discuss the issue of biomarker application and to propose solutions. 

 

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Vera Hoermann

ISC Intelligence in Science

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Jessica Hadjis

ISC Intelligence in Science

Email: jessica.hadjis@iscintelligence.com

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