Twinning boosts excellence in cancer research – Information Centre – Research & Innovation

If international locations can’t practice higher-quality investigation workers, they will struggle to provide ground breaking cancer remedies. An EU-funded task enabled four educational establishments to trade workers and share greatest techniques, resulting in many profession advancements and thriving investigation grant apps. These will benefit citizens by means of the researchers’ expanding techniques to progress cancer remedies.


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Despite significant health-related advances, cancer continues to be a major overall health stress. In many international locations, the illness ranks as the second most popular result in of dying, a fact that continues to drive investigation into new diagnostic tactics and remedies.

“The advancement of immunotherapies (remedies that help your immune system to fight cancer) and vaccines are regions of biotechnology the place we have observed a terrific deal of do the job,” notes VACTRAIN task coordinator Maria Issagouliantis, direct researcher at Riga Stradins College (RSU) in Latvia. “There is a substantial total of social, political and scientific desire for development to be manufactured in these regions.”

A vital obstacle even so is ensuring that chopping-edge investigation – as nicely as new therapeutic applications – are adequately disseminated. This is significant, because if understanding continues to be locked in a handful of labs and establishments, or a handful of international locations, then the likely rewards simply cannot be totally realised. A lack of institutional experience also signifies that youthful researchers generally sense compelled to complete their studies abroad, having their experience with them.

Sharing understanding and knowledge

The EU-funded VACTRAIN task sought to address this obstacle by making up institutional experience. “This wasn’t a investigation task as this sort of,” clarifies Issagouliantis. “Our purpose was not to acquire and test new cancer immunotherapies, or therapeutic vaccinations. Instead, we desired to carry together experience from diverse international locations, in purchase to really encourage much better health care performances, largely in Latvia, but also elsewhere.”

To obtain this, the EU-funded VACTRAIN task connected RSU, one particular of Latvia’s leading biomedicine and biotechnology centres, with other establishments across Europe. “The college features substantial investigation likely and health-related experience,” adds Issagouliantis. “This manufactured RSU an superb candidate for twinning.”

All through the task, connections were being manufactured with two internationally renowned investigation establishments – the Office of Microbiology, Tumour and Mobile Biology at the Karolinska Institute (KI) in Sweden, and the Office of Standard Biophysics at the College of Lodz in Poland.

“Both characterize centres of excellence in the design, tests and clinical apps of a large class of immunotherapeutics,” claims Issagouliantis. The consortium was complemented by the Kavetsky Institute of Experimental Pathology, Oncology and Radiobiology in Ukraine (KIEPOR). “Altogether, the twinning effort and hard work united four associates,” clarifies Issagouliantis. “Links between these establishments were being forged by means of workshops, laboratory courses and intensive workers exchanges.”

Marketing investigation experience

This sharing of activities and greatest techniques served to build up institutional experience, inspiring ground breaking observe-up initiatives. RSU for instance has fashioned a taskforce to acquire modern-day nanomedicines, which has long gone on to acquire critical investigation grants from the Latvian Council of Science.

In addition, a special cross-border investigation network involving trainees and researchers from all four partner establishments has been released, to type a sort of nanomedicine advancement chain. The network has correctly competed for investigation grants on the design and tests of DNA-centered nanomedicines that focus on cancer.

“I feel that the effects of this task can be measured by the fact that a few intercontinental grants have been received by consortia involving VACTRAIN associates,” claims Issagouliantis. “VACTRAIN has served to lay the groundwork for the advancement of highly developed investigation in Latvia.”

Straight a final result of the twinning task, one particular senior researcher acquired their to start with European grant, for a task devoted to producing nanomedicines. Two postgraduates who worked on the task are presently completing their PhD studies in the field of cancer, with completion envisioned in 2021.

“All this experience will help us to practice and retain keep of extremely skilled experts in the potential,” notes Issagouliantis. “This is critical for the advancement and overall health of our country. Of the 8 youthful trainees who participated in the task, only one particular has remaining to keep on their studies abroad. Providing profession possibilities signifies we can keep experience.”

At last, development can also be observed in Issagouliantis’ very own profession improvement. “I was promoted to the posture of leading scientist at RSU in 2018, which was renewed in 2020,” she concludes. “I also acquired a 2-calendar year grant for investigation into immunotherapy from the Latvian Science Fund for 2018-2020.”