Cancer Moonshot Webinar meeting with NIH 

Launched in 2016, the Cancer Moonshot prioritizes accelerating scientific breakthroughs, fostering collaboration, and improving data exchange in cancer treatment & research. With a focus on high-impact areas, the initiative unites patients, advocates, researchers, and clinicians in a collective effort to advance research for the ultimate goal of eradicating cancer as we currently understand it.

Interview with György Marko-Varga, Professor at Clinical Protein Science and Imaging at Lund University

January 30, 2024

Can you mention one or two highlights from you recent meeting ” Cancer Moonshot Webinar meeting with NIH , the US National Institutes of Health”? 
– Last week we had a global Webinar exploring Cancer studies and data from hundreds of scientists, and The European Cancer Moonshot Center in Lund boasted approximately 100 Million sequence files, we really scored with top performance in terms of data quality.

How did Lund got involved? 
– Initiating the largest cancer program in the U.S., the Obama administration expanded its reach globally. Australia became the first partner, and the coordination was led by my friend Mark Baker during a meeting in Sydney. The excitement escalated when Mark shared details of Air Force 2 flying in for the signing ceremony. A few weeks later, Johan Malm, a clinician colleague, and I made the trip to Sydney. Given our extensive melanoma sample collection in Lund, the focus of the collaboration centered around this key cancer in Australia. Subsequently, Johan and I visited the NIH, resulting in a significant breakthrough during discussions, ultimately solidifying a partnership. That is how we were supported to establish the European Cancer Moonshot Center in Lund.

Can you explain the potential of your research for drug discovery/drug development? 
–  The European Cancer Moonshot Center in Lund houses over 1 million samples in our Biobank, equipped with automated sample handling using robotic processing at -80°C. Utilizing patient-derived tumor tissues and blood samples, we focus on developing diagnostics for extended survival and distinguishing responders from non-responders to personalized medications. Ultimately, this will save lives, alleviate pain, and lead to improved financial outcomes.

How has your research contributed for the benefit of patients?  
– We organize yearly gatherings and engage with the community, incorporating patients in our events. During our recent Open House event, we welcomed over 400 visitors.

What are some recent breakthroughs or discoveries that you have accomplished recently ? 
– We pioneered the world’s first utilization of a Clinical Protein platform, coupled with Pathology characterization and AI-Imaging, to deliver optimal treatment for a late-stage patient, resulting in significant impact.

When is the next meeting/conference to get the latest update within Cancer Moonshot and 
your research?  
– XI Congress on the Spanish Society of Proteomics, in Febr., Cordoba, Spain.
“HUPO World Congress” in Oct Dresden, Germany.