Official Opening of the Horizon EU Cancer Mission PRIME-ROSE project

Photo by Per Marius Didriksen, OUH.

Official Opening of the Horizon EU Cancer Mission PRIME-ROSE project

The PRIME-ROSE kick-off took place in Oslo on September 19-20 and gathered around 70 participants from different partners across Europe.

PRIME-ROSE builds on a bottom-up, investigator-initiated family of clinical trials in precision cancer medicine, which have successfully brought up inclusion rates to offer additional lines of treatment and provide patient benefit. PRIME-ROSE will use these adaptive and pragmatic clinical trial platforms to answer key questions regarding clinical effectiveness, provide health-economic evaluations, and contribute to scientific progress across cancers. At the kick-off in Oslo, PRIME-ROSE partners and key stakeholders met to go through the work plan and acceleratethe start-up of the project tasks.

The PRIME-ROSE vision is access to affordable precision cancer medicine that prolongs life at the best quality possible for all cancer patients. PRIME-ROSE organizes a growing ecosystem with distributed leadership across Europe focused on precision cancer medicine implementation. PRIME-ROSE also collaborates closely with the EU4Health project PCM4EU, that started inJanuary and in particular focuses on precision cancer medicine diagnostics.

PRIME-ROSE Coordinator Kjetil Taskén says: “Most importantly, PRIME-ROSE will allow us to search around Europe to find patients with rare combinations of cancer disease, biomarker, and treatment in parallel ongoing trials to build the evidence of what treatments are working for patients. This is a “triple-win” – for patients, investigators and industry partners – as we will build the knowledge base faster and more effectively”.

The public part of the PRIME-ROSE kick-off included the session “The growing ecosystem of DRUP-like clinical trials and European-wide initiatives PCM4EU & PRIME-ROSE” in the ACTA Oncologica Nordic Precision Cancer Medicine Symposium and took place on September 19. Here, all the PIs from the DRUP-like clinical trials in PRIME-ROSE gave short updates, followed by a panel discussion. The internal part of the kick-off took place at the Institute for Cancer Research, Oslo University Hospital on September 20. During this session, all eight work-package leaders presented their planned work in a nutshell and drew time-lines for upcoming deliverables and milestones.

Work package 1 lead by Hans Gelderblom (LUMC) will build a data aggregation platform and focus on data sharing. Ragnhild S. Falk (Oslo University Hospital, OUH) will lead the work on models for randomized external control arms in work package 2, whereas Åslaug Helland(OUH) leads work package 3, focusing on designing expansion cohorts. Work package 4 lead by Sahar B. van Waalwijk vanDoorn-Khosrovani (LUMC) will work with reimbursement strategies, and workpackage 5 lead by Katarina Steen Carlsson (Swedish Institute for Health Economics) will address the health technology assessment (HTA) challenges with precision cancer medicine. Bettina Ryll (Testbed Sweden) leads work package 6, focusing on developing the ecosystem and the corresponding need for social innovation. Finally, Katriina Jalkanen (Helsinki University Hospital) will be responsible for dissemination in work package 8.

Sweden launches testbed for clinical trials in cancer care

Vision Zero Cancer and Genomic Medicine Sweden (GMS) join forces with SciLifeLab, public sector authorities, regions, healthcare, academia, industry and patient associations to create an innovation milieu that facilitates the introduction of more precise prevention and treatment in cancer care.

Through the call Innovation milieus within Precision Health 2021, The Swedish Innovation Agency, Vinnova, has chosen to invest in 11 innovation milieus in precision health that will pave the way for more prevention, precision, and equity in healthcare and contribute to strengthening Sweden as a life science nation.

– For cancer patients, this is a piece of the puzzle that enables the development of new innovations so that more people can live longer and better. This initiative consolidates Vision Zero Cancer as a national point of contact for system innovation and strengthens our ambition to spread  the Vision Zero globally says Ebba Hallersjö Hult, co-founder and head of Vision Zero Cancer and Test Bed Sweden.

Ebba Hallersjö Hult. Photo: Micke Lundström.

– GMS is very pleased to participate in this broad consortium that together can move the positions for national clinical studies in cancer in Sweden. At GMS, we are already working on a national, structured implementation of genomics-based precision medicine and we look forward to working together furthering more clinical studies, says Anders Edsjö, Vice Chairman of GMS management team, Section Head and Senior Molecular Pathologist at Clinical Genetics and Pathology, Region Skåne.

Anders Edsjö. Photo: Nooreldin Zendehrokh.

The research institute SIR at the Stockholm School of Economics is the coordinator for Vision Zero Cancer and for the new innovation milieu “Test Bed Sweden for Clinical Trials and Implementation of Precision Health in Cancer Care”, which has been granted funding for five years by Vinnova and which will be part of the national strategic innovation program Swelife.

The patient perspective is central to the initiative

– The Network against Cancer looks forward to the joint work within the testbed with a focus on co-creation with patients and relatives. We see great opportunities to push for a faster roll-out of clinical studies and the implementation of precision medicine, says Margareta Haag, Chair of the Network against Cancer.

Margareta Haag. Photo: private.

Comprised in the Life Science strategy, the government has a stated ambition that Sweden should be a pioneer for the introduction of precision medicine in healthcare. Predictions suggest that precision medicine is likely to grow primarily in cancer care over the next decade. In 10 years, between 300 and 400 new immunotherapies, targeted drugs and tumour agnostic drugs could be approved.

– Conducting clinical studies within healthcare is a prerequisite for patients in Sweden to be able to take part of the fantastic opportunities brought by precision medicine. The initiative Vinnova has now decided to finance will advance the positions for how we conduct clinical studies, which in turn means increased stimulation and prerequisites for more pharmaceutical companies to place their studies in Sweden and thereby contribute to the development of precision medicine, says Frida Lundmark, expert policy at Lif – the research pharmaceutical companies.

Frida Lundmark. Photo: Lif.

Wide range of actors behind the initiative

Test Bed Sweden is an add-on and further development of the Vinnova-funded innovation milieu Vision Zero Cancer established in 2019 with the long-term vision that no one should have to die of cancer. Behind the Test Bed initiative and application are 16 different actors (see box below). The range of actors is something seen as a key to succeed.

– By developing and implementing precision medicine through diagnostics and treatment in clinical routine, there is a good chance to reach the Vision Zero. Giving patients faster access to effective and nationally equitable precision health in the field of cancer is crucial, says Hans Hägglund, Sweden’s national cancer coordinator and co-founder of Vision Zero Cancer and Test Bed Sweden.

Hans Hägglund. Photo: Micke Lundström.

– Sweden needs an innovation milieu to stimulate and facilitate national clinical studies within precision medicine for patients with cancer. We have gathered a number of important players who need to be involved to make this possible. The testbed has national and international reach to initiatives and groups of actors that can contribute and collaborate in this endeavor, concludes Richard Rosenquist Brandell, Chairman of GMS management team, Professor and Senior Physician in Clinical Genetics at Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital.

Richard Rosenquist Brandell. Photo: Rick Guidotti.


Ebba Hallersjö Hult, tel: 072-711 44 91 [email protected]

Behind the initiative and application are the following actors: Vision Zero Cancer, Genomic Medicine Sweden (GMS), Regional Cancer Centres (RCC), The Medical Products Agency, The Dental and Pharmaceutical Benefits Agency (TLV), SciLifeLab, the consortium behind the clinical trial Megalit coordinated by Uppsala University Hospital in Region Uppsala, Stockholm School of Economics, Halmstad University, the Swedish Institute for Health Economics (IHE),  the Network against Cancer, Lung Cancer Association, Lif – the research pharmaceutical companies, Swedish Medtech and Ascro.

This is Vision Zero Cancer

Vision Zero Cancer challenges the prevailing ecosystem and connects new ones. We are going to turn cancer from a deadly into a curable or chronic disease.

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Vision Zero Cancer becomes host of research network

To transform cancer from a deadly to a curable or chronic disease it is crucial to improve the precision in cancer treatment and follow-up of individual patients’ cancer disease. The Partnership for Precision Medicine in Cancer and Vision Zero Cancer are joining forces to accelerate research into precision medicine, with the aim to benefit every cancer patient.

Partnership for Precision Medicine in Cancer (PPMC) is a network to promote Swedish translational research on precision medicine in cancer. Among other things, this is done through creating better conditions and organization for elevating research.

“We are creating a common way of working in collecting samples and clinical data from cancer patients,” says one of PPMC’s founders Tobias Sjöblom, PhD, Professor and Head, Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology at Uppsala University, Director of the Research Infrastructure of Biobank Sweden, BBMRI and Program Director for U-CAN.

Tobias Sjöblom is responsible for the national coordination of the PPMC network. The goal is to be able to include more cancer patients in translational research projects on precision medicine regardless of where in Sweden they live. The aim is also to direct focus externally and find synergies with other actors who share our vision.

To further these goals, Vision Zero Cancer becomes the host for outreach activities and external engagement. Vision Zero Cancer is an innovation milieu Vision Zero Cancer is a Swedish innovation milieu that engages actors across society in strategic actions to work jointly in the mission of eliminating cancer as a cause of death and enable more people to livfe longer and better. As host for PPMC, Vision Zero Cancer will plan and implement outreach activities, develop pathways for connecting other diagnoses in addition to lung cancer to the network and finding models for funding to keep collecting patient samples and enable research.

“We want to stimulate the interest regarding research in precision medicine within industry, healthcare, financiers and patients” says Hans Hägglund, MD, Professor, National Cancer Coordinator and Chairman of Vision Zero Cancer. Research grounded in clinical reality is a step towards no one having to die of cancer.

Together, the two actors will develop a flexible, cross-sectoral and cross-functional model for shared hosting. For seamless integration, Tobias Sjöblom, will become part of the core team at Vision Zero Cancer and the Head of Vision Zero Cancer, Ebba Hallersjö Hult, will become part of the PPMC network’s steering group.


Ebba Hallersjö Hult, Tel. +46 72 711 44 91, [email protected],  Vision Zero Cancer

Tobias Sjöblom, Tel. +46 70 167 90 39, [email protected]

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Healthcare has become more and more production oriented. We think that is the wrong way to go. On the one hand, it is difficult for staff to maintain resilient conditions and, on the other hand, the time for research and studies decreases. And research and studies are crucial to developing healthcare and furthering innovation.

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