150IN - The European Perspective of Academic Research: The way to move forwards

Date 29 September 2014
Event ESMO 2014
Session ESMO-SEOM Joint Symposium - Investigation driven precision oncology
Topics Bioethics, Legal, and Economic Issues
Presenter Denis Lacombe
Citation Annals of Oncology (2014) 25 (suppl_4): iv51-iv52. 10.1093/annonc/mdu324
Authors D.A. Lacombe
  • Headquarters, European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer, 1200 - Brussels/BE




Propelled by an increasing understanding of the mechanisms and pathways of tumour biology, clinical cancer research has truly entered a promising era filled with exciting new possibilities. Innovative options for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients are under development, and these, combined with advances in technology, means there is still a lot more to come. However, the current clinical trial landscape cannot fully embrace these advances. In order to harness these possibilities and turn dreams into reality, stakeholders need to work together within an integrated cancer clinical research environment that is able to address the questions that are relevant today.

The new shape of clinical research opens opportunities for academic research to contribute to the full landscape. Traditionally multidisciplinary, academic research addresses research questions peri-operatively and in combination with other disciplines such as radiotherapy with appropriate quality assurance programmes and therefore extends the reach of precision medicine. Intimately involving pre-clinical, translational and imaging scientists through its networks, academia will evolve into a critical partner for sharing knowledge with other stakeholders such as the pharmaceutical industry sector. Due to the fragmentation of diseases, access to patient specific populations will be most efficiently achieved through cooperative networks.

Emerging public health questions such as health technology assessments and comparative effectiveness research will position academic research as a valuable partner to regulators and payers. As data sets evolve, emerging societal issues such as long term follow up of patients in clinical trials to document long term quality of life, secondary tumors and challenges met by survivors will be preferably addressed by academic research. As research in real life setting becomes of utmost importance, access to large populations and linkage with registries is emerging as well as a privilege activity for academia.

Due to the complexity of the challenges such as management of big data and bioinformatics, new forms of partnerships need to be developed between academic researcher organizations and learned societies which in turn will sustain long term solutions for the commercial sector.


The author has declared no conflicts of interest.