A new clinic, Perituskliniken, is planned to be established at Medicon Village. This was recently announced in a pressrelease.
-I´m very excited about a cancer clinic being established at Medicon Village. The development of new advanced therapies and precision diagnostic demands a close collaboration between the clinic and research. Without the clinical collaboration the, so called, intended use can´t be defined, says Carl Borrebaeck, Lund university professor and Director of CREATE Health translational Cancer Centre, seated at Medicon Village.
To be inspired on how to excel work at the frontiers of cancer treatment, a delegation associated with the clinic recently visited AGORA translational cancer research facility – an interdisciplinary, multi-institutional building in Lausanne that within six months will house a range of competencies, such as basic cancer researchers, bioengineers and clinical researchers.
-We need integrated dream teams and we have competence all the way from discovery through tech to the clinical impact, explains Douglas Hanahan, Co-Director at Swiss Cancer Centre Leman (SCCL). The design principle is to bring together people with complimentary expertise.
Open stairwells, open offices, open labs. And common rooms. These are elements of the design principle. Offices and labs are designed in clusters so everybody would be bumping into each other. And cancer researchers will sit next to clinical researcher or bioengineers – all to foster collaboration and interaction.
Close collaboration with clinicians leads to personalised medicine
The benefit for patients with cancer is particularly clear in view of AGORA’s collaboration with the Lausanne University’s hospital across the street. The clinicians at the hospital send patients´ tumour samples to the researchers at AGORA, who then identify the molecular traits. These serve much like a fingerprint. Once identified, the teams can advise on and, in some cases, deliver a treatment strategy to the clinicians – to find the best targeted therapy for the particular tumour fingerprint.
Biosamples also ease the way for research within diagnostics and prognostics.
-With no access to tumour material or blood and tissue, the development is challenged and delayed. This became very clear during our own development of the first test to diagnose early pancreatic cancer. This would not have been possible without our close collaboration with Danish and American clinics, Carl Borrebaeck points out.
Proximity paves the way for new treatment options
One treatment strategy for cancer is immunotherapy, where patients are treated with cell therapies that recognize parts of the tumour fingerprint. These therapies contain the patient´s T-cells, the ninja warriors of the immune system.
To act as therapy, the T-cells need to be educated and trained. And they need to be manufactured in a GMP (good manufacturing practice) facility, which is a certified and heavily regulated lab. A GMP facility lies within ten minutes from AGORA. This and the vicinity of the hospital, along with the close collaboration within AGORA teams, supports in tailoring the patient´s treatment strategies.
-What we foremost can learn from AGORA is the need to be close to the clinic, that is, the patient. A clinic would offer cancer researchers at Medicon Village close access to cell and tissue samples. We hope to have this access available next year. The next imperative steps are to expand the existing GMP-facility, says Göran Grosskopf chair of the board at Medicon Village´s owner foundation, Mats Paulsson Foundation for Research, Innovation and Societal Development.
-Medicon Village will become an outstanding life science center with this clinic at our site. We will also be among the Swedish frontrunners in the fight against cancer, says Göran Grosskopf.
Read pressrelease in Swedish: https://www.perituskliniken.se/
By Tanja Jensen, Science Writer