New €12m research project approved to enhance prostate cancer care

New €12m research project approved to enhance prostate cancer care

The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) has approved a new five-year project, PIONEER, with the goal to ensure all European men diagnosed with prostate cancer receive optimal care using big data.

Today (14 May), members of the PIONEER (Prostate Cancer DIagnOsis and TreatmeNt Enhancement through the Power of Big Data in EuRope) consortium participated in the launch of a new public private pan-European prostate cancer research initiative in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

PIONEER co-ordinator Professor James N’Dow said: “PIONEER will harness the power of big data to transform the field of prostate cancer research from the perspective of all relevant stakeholders including clinicians, pharmaceutical companies, payers, and most importantly patients.”

The current issue with treatment

With prostate cancer being the most diagnosed cancer in men in Europe, the issue lies in the number of critical knowledge gaps in relation to the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of the patients, which include:

  • Lack of standardisation of prostate cancer definitions across all stages of the disease;
  • Insufficient knowledge of the risk factors for developing prostate cancer;
  • Insufficient knowledge of patient characteristics, including genetic profiles, for optimal stratification of patients at time of diagnosis;
  • Lack of meaningful engagement of all key stakeholders, including patients, when defining core disease outcome sets; and
  • Lack of effective implementation of knowledge gained into clinical practice including knowledge informed by real-world data.

Having this lack of knowledge means that predicting which patients will have the best outcomes with specific treatments is of a low standard, while prediction of which patients may be managed safely without treatment remains poor.

PIONEER’s approach

The approach for the new project will be to first identify critical evidence gaps in prostate cancer care through a detailed prioritisation exercise including all:

  • Stakeholders;
  • Clinicians;
  • Patients;
  • Researchers;
  • Pharmaceutical industry; and
  • Payers.

PIONEER will then standardise and integrate existing big data from quality multidisciplinary data sources into a single innovative data platform, which will leverage two existing data platforms, tranSMART and OHDSI, developed in previous IMI projects.

It will transform the field of prostate cancer care with particular focus on improving the outcomes related to the disease, health system efficiency, and the quality of health and social care. Also, PIONEER will provide recommendations for standardised care pathways for clinical centres across Europe.

Pierre Meulien from the IMI recently appeared in our latest publication of Health Europa Quarterly issue 5.


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