The aim of the National Program for Personalized Cancer Medicine is to build a national cancer diagnostics platform based on next generation sequencing. This will ensure that every cancer diagnosis triggers molecular testing to identify the right treatment for the individual patient.
The increasing number of targeted cancer drugs triggers the need for refined diagnostics approaches. With reference to the British Stratified Medicine Initiative run by Cancer Research UK, Pfizer Norway’s Oncology Business kicked off a Norwegian initiative in collaboration with the Oslo Cancer Cluster in 2011.
With involvement of several cluster members, the project resulted in the formation of the Norwegian Cancer Genomics Consortium (NCGC). At Oslo Cancer Cluster’s signature event Cancer Crosslinks in January 2012, the Norwegian Cancer Genomics Consortium presented the National Program for Personalized Cancer Medicine.
State of the art diagnostics infrastructure
The purpose of the program is to establish a state-of-the art diagnostics infrastructure available to the Norwegian Healthcare system. This will ultimately result in optimized treatment decisions and cancer care. The interdisciplinary consortium consists of cancer research centers and university hospitals from all Norwegian health regions. Oslo Cancer Cluster acts as facilitator for disseminating the results and for involving private partners.
In 2012, the first phase of the project attracted a substantial NOK35 million grant ($6 M) from the Norwegian Research Council, under the Program for Publicly Initiated Clinical Cancer Studies. The second phase received NOK40 million ($7 M) from the Research Council’s BIOTEK 2021 program. Oslo Cancer Cluster has facilitated an industry consortium as part of the second application, and is a partner in communicating and disseminating the results.
Clinical research project initiated
A first clinical research project has been initiated to identify all gene changes in 800 patients in Norway with melanoma, lymphoma, leukemia, myeloma, sarcoma, prostate, breast and colon cancer. Larger and more specific studies are being planned for. Currently the consortium is applying for additional funds toward long-term goals of offering Norwegian patients optimized cancer treatment and diagnostics, and providing genomics support for clinical trials in Norway.
Find more information:
Norwegian Cancer Genomics Consortium homepage