Cancer in children is rare but when it happens, clinically prescribed treatment options are not always as efficient as one would hope. Of those that are cured, a substantial proportion suffer long-term serious health consequences from the intensive treatments that are currently required. A major reason for cancer being so difficult to treat effectively is that cancer cells undergo many random changes, which means that each cancer has an essentially unique combination of molecular characteristics. To address this problem, it is important to develop ways of specifically tailoring treatment combinations for the molecular profile of each individual cancer, to maximize cures and to minimize short- and long-term treatment side-effects.
IPaediatricCure (https://ipc-project.eu/) is a project supported by EU Horizon-2020 funding program.
The goal of the iPC project is to collect, standardize and harmonize existing clinical knowledge and medical data and, with the help of artificial intelligence, create treatment models for patients. Armed with these treatment models, scientists will then test them on virtual patients to evaluate treatment efficacy and toxicity, thus improving both patient survival and their quality of life. To accomplish our goals, we have assembled an interdisciplinary team consisting of basic, translational, and clinical researchers—all amongst the leaders in their respective fields—and established strong relationships with European Centres of Excellence, patient organizations, and clinical trials focus on personalized medicine for our proposed case studies. In summary, iPC will address the critical need for personalized medicine for children with cancer, contribute to the digitalization of clinical workflows, and enable the Digital Single Market of the EU data infrastructure.