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Liverpool University Joins EU Cancer Consortium – Benchmark – Medical Equipment Removals

Liverpool University’s Institute of Translational Medicine has announced that it will become a partner in a brand new European consortium, which has been created to fight eye cancer.

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The Consortium, UM Cure 2020, has received around £5 million worth of funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 research programme. The University of Liverpool will join 11 other partners in the consortium. UM Cure 2020 is a five-year programme that will hopefully identify new approaches to treating uveal melanoma (eye cancer).
Although uveal melanoma (UM) is rare, it is still the most common primary eye cancer in adults. The initial tumour is able to be treated effectively, having said that almost 50% of patients develop secondary tumours, often in the liver, for where there is no effective therapy. Patients that develop metastatic UM require specialised treatments to improve their chances of survival.
The director of the North West Cancer Research Centre at Liverpool University, Professor Sarah Coupling, had this to say about the consortium: “The centre of the UM Cure 2020 approach is to characterise tumour tissue from UM patients with metastases, in order to define actionable targets. Underpinning this will be the UM Cure 2020 virtual biobank registry, linking biobanks in four referral centres involved into a harmonised network.

“To achieve its goal the consortium proposes an innovative concept placing the patient central in the therapy development process. While the pharmaceutical industry mainly focuses on developing drugs that may work in as many tumour types as possible, this approach only rarely results in drugs that work in rare tumours such as UM.”

The centres will collect primary and metastatic UM samples of thorough characterisation. Single drugs or combinations of them that show promise in preclinical data will be put forward for clinical trials. The other three UM Cure 2020 centres that will be collecting biosamples are in Paris, Leiden and Krakow.

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