Was established in 1980 as an international not for profit professional society with scientific aims. ESTRO has more than 5000 individual members worldwide and an important number of company members. ESTRO’s mission is to foster radiation oncology in all its aspects. The society therefore aims to develop the standard of radiation oncology, radiation physics, radiation technology and radiobiology in Europe, to promote international exchange of scientific information and to provide education and training in these fields. By setting standards for education, practice and quality assurance in radiation oncology and associated professions, ESTRO’s long term aim is to improve the standards of cancer treatment for patients in Europe and worldwide. Over a period of 20 years and with support from more than 40 EU projects (ERASMUS, SOCRATES, TEMPUS, Europe Against Cancer, Copernicus, COST, Quality of Life, ESTRO has become an international leader in the provision of teaching and training in the field of radiation oncology. With all its basic and related fields for ARTFORCE, ESTRO will organize topical educational events for highly innovative aspects generated within the consortium that are not accommodated in its existing radiotherapy training programs. Capitalising on its experience, ESTRO will also give special attention to organizing PhD student exchange programs and research fellowships. ESTRO will also help junior fellows to apply for other existing EU grants supporting participation to meetings or research projects. As an international member society responsible for organizing a wide range of courses and conferences annually, ESTRO has established a very broad network of contacts over the years, including most international, regional and national societies, professional bodies and industrial partners in the field of radiation oncology. ESTRO is the keystone of radiation oncology in Europe and has at its disposal a wide range of methods and tools to ensure the promulgation of the results of the ARTFORCE project to a very broad audience (to the scientific community beyond the partners of the consortium, to the non-scientific community, political bodies and the industrial companies) and to promote the implementation of the standard methodologies and master protocols developed by the project on a very significant scale.
Is a large comprehensive cancer centre with excellent molecular imaging, radiotherapy facilities(14 linacs) and research expertise in the management of head and neck(600 patients a year) and lung cancer(1500) patients.The hospital has taken a UK lead in adaptive radiotherapy as well as trialling dose escalated IMRT with Cetuximab in head and neck.
The French Medical Research Council is a nationwide organization that covers all aspects of biomedical sciences. INSERM provides basic support to the Research Unit « Apoptosis, Cancer & Immunity » (U848) directed by Guido Kroemer. INSERM U848 is fully equipped with three cytofluorometers (two analyzers and one sorter, the latter with three distinct lasers), three conventional fluorescence microscopes, one confocal fluorescence videomicroscope, an automatized fluorescence videomicroscope with spinning disk for high-throughput screening purposes applied to living cells (Beckton Dickinson Pathway®), equipped with a computer-controlled multipipet injection system and coupled with a robotic arm to a CO2 incubator, four image analysis workstations, several automated fluorescence and luminometric plate readers, an automated FPLC/HPLC system, as well as all standard material for cell biology, molecular biology, and biochemical analyses.
The Institute Gustave-Roussy (IGR)
Is one of the leading anti-cancer centres in Europe (2500 employees, 400 bed-hospital, 120 staff physicians, 11.000 new patients / year, 400 researchers & 5,000 hours of education given / year) whose missions are to treat cancer patients and to conduct research and develop new therapies, and to pass on knowledge and know-how to the medical and scientific communities. IGR’s missions is founded on principles that are the guiding force behind its daily actions: 1) the excellence principle, through which efforts are united to establish quality standards in oncology; 2) the innovation principle, which is needed for many cancers that are still incurable; and 3) the evaluation principle, to make progress in a rigorous way to implement new therapies. IGR is also a reference centre for radiation oncology and for both head and neck and lung multidisciplinary oncology.
Karolinska Institutet (KI)
Founded in 1810, is Sweden’s only university especially focusing on biomedical sciences. In addition, KI annually awards the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. KI ranks as one of the world’s leading medical universities, partly due to the quality of its research activities, which today accounts for 40 % of all medical research in Sweden. KI has about 3700 employees (full-time equivalents), nearly two-thirds of whom are female. Around 80% of KI’s income is devoted to research, distributed among some 600 research groups covering all medical fields. KI provides excellent postgraduate training with 2100 registered PhD students from around the world, with activities in both basic and clinical research. Research at KI has a strong European dimension, with almost 200 project participations within the EU’s Sixth Framework Programme (FP6). Of these, KI is coordinating 28 projects. KI has made a strong start in FP7, participating in about 80 projects, coordinator 15, as well as five European Research Council Grants. KI is also the major Swedish beneficiary of funds from the NIH. The Department of Radiotherapy at Karolinska University Hospital is the leading radiotherapy unit in Sweden with 160 employees. In total, there are 12 accelerators, 6 equipped with CBCT and a RapidArc system. With one of the CTs 4D-CT gating is possible. Additionally, there are 2 gamma knives at the department.
Maastricht Radiation Oncology (acronym: MAASTRO)
Is a consortium dealing with patient care, (pre)clinical research and training related to Radiation in Oncology. MAASTRO has five functional units dealing with patient care (MAASTRO clinic), Clinical research and biobanking (MAASTRO trial), research in physics and IT (MAASTRO physics), preclinical research (MAASTRO lab) and training and teaching (MAASTRO school, including as a PhD program of about 25 students). Based on the “crown indicator of an external bibliometric study (the citation score of scientific papers from MAASTRO compared to the world average in a particular field i.e. the CPP/FCSm) MAASTRO score 60% above “world average” (CPP/FCSm = 1.60). The host organization for the research activities of MAASTRO is GROW research institute (School for Developmental Biology and Oncology), the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences at Maastricht University Medical Centre (MUMC). MAASTRO clinic, offers state-of-the-art radiotherapy to more than 3500 cancer patients each year from the Limburg area in the Netherlands, and has currently 220 employees, 7 modern linear accelerators equipped with imaging devices for image-guided radiotherapy. It was the first centre with a CT-PET scanner dedicated for radiotherapy, which includes the possibility to acquire dynamic PET scans and 4D-CT-PET in lung cancer patients. Multislice 4D-CT scanners, 1,5 to 3 Tesla MR and 3D Echography units are available. Stereotactic and intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), image guided radiotherapy (IGRT) and in-vivo dosimetry (2D and 3D Electronic Portal Imaging) are used in daily practice. Approximately 25% of the patients are included in clinical trials (European mean: 3%). These trials are managed by a GCP compliant data centre which has experience with the regulatory affairs of clinical trials (IMPD, eudraCT, trial registration…). About half of the trials are “investigators initiated trials”, the other half are from multicentric network (EORTC, Dutch network…) or company trials. MAASTRO is formal member of the Total Cancer Centre consortium (TCC) having more then 15 centres world wide (Asia, Europe, US), which is the largest biobank initiative in the world. We have dedicated GMP compliant pharmacy and drug preparation areas. The laboratories offer a facility providing a comprehensive range of laboratory services.
Is a spin-off company of MAASTRO clinic founded in July 2007. Primary goal of this company is to use findings, new working methods or other non core-business activities of MAASTRO clinic to create funds for continuous research and innovations in the field of oncology and more specific, radiation oncology. Based on a research and the advice of Ernst & Young Accountants in February 2007, the company was set up as a so-called Besloten Vennootschap (Belgium: bvba, UK: Ltd, Germany: GmbH, France: SPRL). MAASTRO INNOVATIONS is advised by a scientific advisory board consisting of delegates from the scientific medical staff of MAASTRO clinic, delegates from MAASTRO Lab (University of Maastricht) and at least two prominent international researchers in oncology from external organisations. Goal of the scientific advisory board is to advice MAASTRO INNOVATIONS on its research lines. MAASTRO innovations has also the ability to create daughter companies for special products. The current focus of MAASTRO INNOVATIONS BV is on two topics: 1. The development and improvement of radiotherapy related software related to Electronic Portal dosimetry, Image analysis, eLearning and predictive algorithm of outcome. 2. Products related to tumour hypoxia: a new PET biomarker for CA9 imaging and a machine able to create cyclic hypoxia in vitro.
Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI-AVL)
Is a Comprehensive Cancer Centre, combining a hospital (Stichting Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Ziekenhuis – AVL-) and research laboratories (Stichting het Nederlands Kanker Instituut – NKI) under one roof in an independent organisation with one board of directors. Both the hospital and the Research Institute are fully focussed on cancer. The NKI and AVL are private institutions, founded in 1913, based on the concept that a dedicated cancer hospital combined with a research institute offered the best perspectives for improving cancer therapies. Although the introduction of a budgeting system for hospital care made it necessary to formally separate juridical and financially in the early eighties, this CCC concept has been embraced ever since and the institute has steadily grown to its current size with around 2,000 employees of which approximately 650 active in research. The hospital comprises 180 beds, an outpatient clinic and a large radiotherapy department. In research approximately 50% of the employees are females. The NKI-AVL has a relative very high output given its size and budget. Its research is funded by core grants from the government and the Dutch Cancer Society. However, the majority of funding is received through external competitive grants. The institute has close to 150 graduate students and an additional 110 postdocs. The graduate school in Oncology is organised jointly with the 2 Amsterdam universities. The Netherlands Cancer Institute is a world-leading centre on IGRT and development of quality assurance procedure with electronic portal image device for the 3-D dosimetry. It will take care of further developing, exporting and implementing the IGRT procedures. It will participate in the clinical trials and will validate the Head and Neck micro-array gene profile.
Is an SME developing advanced applications for radiation therapy. Developing IMRT and VMAT for Philips’ Pinnacle system and Nucletron’s Oncentra, 3DCRT optimization and biological optimization for Varian’s Eclipse, backup IMRT planning for Tomotherapy, and 3D dosimetry for IBA, RaySearch is a world leader in advanced treatment planning. RaySearch also develops a full, CE-marked, proton and photon treatment planning system (RayStation) for Westdeutsches Protonentherapiezentrum Essen including tools for dose tracking and adaptive radiation therapy. RaySearch, or RaySearch employees, has been conducting independent and collaborative research in adaptive radiation therapy (biologically based, as well as dose based) since 1994.
Institut Catala de la Salut (ICS HUVH & VHIR)
Institut Catala de la Salut (ICS) belongs to the Public Health Department of the Government of Catalonia. It is the leading hospital complex in Catalonia and one of the largest in Spain, is comprised of four large centers – the General Area, the Maternity and Children’s Area, the Traumatology and Rehabilitation Area and the Outpatient Surgery Unit – which cover almost all the medical and surgical specialties. Catala de la Salut has a total of 1,400 beds, more than 6,500 employees and also house various teaching centers, public health care enterprises, research centers, laboratories and other complementary facilities. This concentration of services, facilities, and state-of-the-art technology would be nothing without well trained and, in many cases, internationally recognized health professionals and a powerful administrative support network that promotes one single objective: optimum health care.
The ICS Department of Radiation Oncology is equipped with three linacs and hopefully a fourth machine will be installed in 2013. We have a leading expertise in the treatment of head and neck cancer patients with RT and epidermal growth factors inhibitors such as cetuximab, panitumumab or lapatinib and we also have actively participated in quality assurance programs and its implementation in clinical trials.
The Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) is a legally independent research institute that was created to manage the research activities of the Hospital Vall d’Hebron (HUVH), which belongs to Institut Català de la Salut (ICS, Catalan Health Institute, Public Health Department of the Government of Catalonia). The terms and conditions of this relation are reflected in the statutes of VHIR.
The ICS-HUVH is the legal entity participating in the ARTFORCE project as Beneficiary nº 5, and the Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) carries out administrative tasks of the Partner and make available its resources free of charge to the Project (there is no reimbursement by the Beneficiary to the Third party). ICS-HUVH is responsible for the administrative tasks performed by VHIR and VHIR carries out these tasks upon request of ICS-HUVH.
University Medical Centre Utrecht (UMCU)
The UMC Utrecht is a nationally and internationally renowned institute where knowledge about health, disease and care, for patient and society is created, tested, shared and applied. In co-operation with our regional, national and international partners, we work on solutions for major medical problems and have dedicated ourselves to accessible acute care, second opinion and select, highly specialized functions. Care, research and education are the three mainstays of UMC Utrecht. These mainstays are inextricably intertwined in our ongoing efforts to improve people’s health. Leading scientific research, groundbreaking innovation and collaboration with patients and other interested parties form the basis of our first-rate healthcare. UMC Utrecht is quick and eager to put improvements into practice. High-quality education guarantees the influx of new talent required to maintain and strengthen our position at the forefront of healthcare.
Erasmus University Medical Centre, Rotterdam (EMCR)
The Erasmus University Medical Centre Rotterdam (EMCR) is one of the 10 best Medical Centres in Europe and belongs to the 30 best Research Institutes in the World. EMCR has achieved its current position by making choices in the broad field of medical research, and the dissemination of these choices through investment in people and facilities. This gives researchers the freedom to develop new lines of research, to facilitate cooperation and researchers are encouraged to look beyond national borders. This has made EMCR increasingly attractive to top scientists and talented young researchers. EMCR excels in different areas of research, the study of basic and clinical domains, as well as public health and prevention. Research of the EMCR is at the heart of society, resulting in innovation, quality and increased efficiency in patient care. The general research aim of the EMCR is to translate the discoveries to bedside applications.
The continuous implementation and extension of shared facilities such as the Erasmus Center for Biomics, the Erasmus Medical Biobank, the Experimental Medical Instrumentation and Applied Molecular Imaging Erasmus MC form a special incentive for scientific research. EMCR will continue to invest in this type of scientific facilities and expand where necessary and possible.