This week’s event was the first Nordic conference in precision cancer medicine, and the organizers plan to make this a regular event every second year. This ACTA Oncologica conference is one of three ACTA Oncologica conferences organized in Scandinavia, and Oslo University Hospital and MATRIX hosted the Nordic Precision Cancer Medicine Symposium. In total, health personnel and academic researchers from 20 countries participated at the conference. Attendees were from Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, France, The Netherlands, Great Britain, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Lithuania, Hungary, Romania, the USA and Australia. Norwegian participants were from 15 hospitals, healthcare organizations, and universities in addition to participants from the Norwegian Cancer Society, Oslo Cancer Cluster and the Directorate of E-health. The industry was also widely represented by national and international delegates from eleven companies.
The conference started with a keynote presentation by Professor David Thomas from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney. Among other things, he talked about Omico and Australia's investment in precision oncology. The second keynote speaker was Francesco Pignatti from EMA, the European Medicines Agency, who spoke about precision medicine and pan-cancer drug development from a regulatory perspective. Professor Gordon Mills from Ohio Health & Science University gave a keynote lecture about how to target adaptive responses in patients with advanced cancer through so-called SMMART (SerialMeasurements of Molecular and Architectural Responses to Therapy) studies.
Five conference sessions addressed molecular precision diagnostics and molecular tumour boards, design of clinical trials in precision cancer medicine, health economics, implementation and guidelines, scaling of precision medicine ecosystems as well as a separate session for the growing ecosystem of DRUP-like clinical studies and European initiatives such as PCM4EU and PRIME-ROSE. This last session was also part of the public part of the official PRIME-ROSE kick-off. For more details on the program and speakers, check the NPCM conference website. During the conference, there was also a two-hour poster session where 42 posters were presented.
There were many good discussions throughout the conference, and the audience had interesting questions to all the speakers. There was also ample opportunity for more informal discussions and interactions at the social gathering on Sunday evening, 17 September, and during the conference dinner on Monday night, 18 September. During the conference dinner, the winners of the poster prizes were announced.
A poster committee consisting of Professor Christophe Le Tourneau from the InstitutCurie in Paris, Åsmund Flobak, St. Olavs Hospital and study physician in IMPRESS-Norway and Katarina Puco, Oslo University Hospital and study physician in IMPRESS-Norway, announced three prizes. Winners of the ACTA Oncologica NPCM2023 Poster Prizes were Astrid Medhus from the Institute for Cancer Research, Oslo University Hospital with the poster "Biomarker guided ADC therapy", Thea Våtsveen from K.G. Jebsen Centre for B-cell malignancies at the University of Oslo with the poster "Targeting protein homeostasis in LTK-positive multiple myeloma by repurposing ALK-inhibitors", and Pilar Ayuda-Durán from the Institute for Cancer Research, Oslo University Hospital with the poster "Identification of synergizing drug combinations in melanoma-derived cell lines using ex vivo drug sensitivity screening» that received the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Prize, respectively. We congratulate all three winners on their excellent work and presentations during the poster session.
The Scientific Organizing Committee for NPCM2023 consisted of Professor Åslaug Helland, Professor Kjetil Taskén, Professor Hege Russnes and Professor Sigbjørn Smeland.
Åslaug Helland is excited that so many renowned speakers from all over the world came to Oslo to present their newest research, and she is impressed by discussions and commitment at the conference. "I am very enthusiastic about the presentations and discussions at the meeting! Very inspiring with engaged participation from all attendees, and I hope all will come back for the next meeting", says Åslaug Helland.
Kjetil Taskén is also very happy that this event has aroused broad interest both on the speaker's and participant's sides and says "I very much appreciated the many outstanding presentations in talks and on posters and the vibrant and interactive environment that was created by convening so many scientists, diagnosticians, and clinicians interested in precision cancer medicine".
The Nordic Precision Cancer Medicine conference was made possible through good collaboration and support from ACTA Oncologica, a foundation and the official journal of the five oncological societies in the Nordic countries and the Nordic Associationfor Clinical Physics. The journal will be an Open Access journal from 2024, and the work to put together a special edition with publications from this conference starts now. We thank ACTA Oncologica for good collaboration and financial support to make this conference happen.