European Consortium Aims to Validate Blood-Based Cancer Biomarkers

The consortium, called CANCER-ID, is a partnership between 33 organizations across 13 European nations focused on establishing the clinical utility of liquid biopsies in patients with NSCLC and HER2-resistant breast cancer.

Blood-based biomarkers such as circulating tumor cells, circulating free DNA, circulating tumor DNA, and microRNAs are potential indicators for the tumor burden of patients living with cancer. Identification and analysis of these markers from blood is still exploratory, but they may offer an additional and extremely useful tool for modern anti-cancer therapy. Blood based tests are not only very useful when biopsies of the tumor are not feasible (ie, limited access to tumor, etc), but also such blood-based tests may allow a close follow-up, and thereby offer a way to monitor the efficacy of treatment and potentially improve the choice of treatment options.

CANCER-ID is a newly formed European consortium funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) with currently 33 partners from 13 countries with the common goal of establishing standard protocols for clinical validation of blood-based biomarkers. In this unique setting, experts from all walks of cancer clinical research, eg academic and clinical research, innovative Small-to-Medium sized Enterprises, diagnostics companies, and the pharmaceutical industry, will work together to establish the clinical utility of “liquid biopsies” in patients with Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer or Her2-therapy resistant breast cancer. The consortium’s industrial partners are currently contributing 8.2 million to the project, and these funds are complemented the IMI Joint Undertaking for a combined 14.5 million budget.

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Source: EORTC