WIN 2016: Preview of themes

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Published: 22 Apr 2016
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Dr Josep Tabernero - Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO), Barcelona, Spain

Dr Josep Tabernero sits on the directorate of WIN consortium, and speaks with ecancertv to highlight the upcoming WIN 2016 conference.

The Worldwide Innovative Networking consortium comprises academics, industry figures, researchers and more, working towards innovative approaches and improved patient treatment. 

Dr Tabernero discusses the theme of this years consortium, the goals of WIN and what sets it apart from other conferences.

WIN 2016 will be held in Paris on June 27th-28th at the Novotel Paris Centre, Eiffel Tower


WIN 2016

WIN 2016: Preview of themes

Dr Josep Tabernero - Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO), Barcelona, Spain

WIN is a  consortium - Worldwide Innovative Network for cancer medicine. So basically this is a consortium that groups not only academic institutions but also pharma biotechs and diagnostic companies and also other stakeholders that are important for the field of precision medicine in cancer patients, including patient advocates and research organisations.

What is the focus of this year’s symposium?

Basically the focus of the symposium that is held on a yearly basis it’s always precision medicine in cancer but for this year actually we asked for challenging titles. So basically how can new innovative approaches improve cancer patients’ outcomes. The title is challenging itself but obviously we are going to have several sessions that are going to be tackling different aspects of personalised medicine in cancer.

What are the consortium goals?

To improve survival with good quality of care and this is something that is at the centre of the consortium. So basically the consortium is patient oriented and patient centred and that’s why for this meeting and other meetings one of the major sessions actually focusses on patient advocacy. So we need to hear the voice of the patients, what is important for the patients or not, and this is crucial not only for the symposium but also for the consortium itself and all the clinical trials that we are trying to develop.

What topics will the conference cover?

Basically we are going to have four different… besides the patient advocacy session that I have mentioned before we are going to have four different sessions on different aspects of innovation. One of them is obviously devoted to diagnostics and diagnostics means not only for the diagnosis of advanced disease but also for prevention, better certification of the disease, monitoring, selecting the right treatment for the right patient. One of the advantages that we have right now that is at the top of the research is the use of what we call the liquid biopsy, so different specimens that we can take from the blood which has provided information on all omics, not only genomics but proteomics and other important aspects to decide the best treatment option. But, as mentioned before, not only this, also early diagnosis, monitoring resistance. So this is going to cover an important session and we have a panel of very good speakers that are leading high quality research in this field.

This is one thing related to diagnostics, also we have innovation in the design of clinical trials. There have been some trials yet published yet presented on precision medicine in cancer that have not yielded the results that we were expecting to have. But it’s important to discuss in a very critical way the caveats of these trials and how we can improve for new clinical trials. So this is going to be another important session.

The third one is how we can optimise all the preclinical information and toxicology information that we need to start the development of a new drug or the development of combinations of drugs yet approved with new drugs or even combining different therapeutic aspects like immunotherapy with conventional chemotherapy or targeted therapies. I think that it’s important that we have an open discussion on what we need as clinicians to introduce any innovative therapeutic options to the patients but with a wide criticism. Now we have several new models on efficacy like the PDXs, organoids and so the advantage of the information that these models can provide has to be translated in the real clinics, the same for toxicology data. So this is a cutting edge point that we need to discuss in a meeting like this.

Finally, but also very important, is how much advantage can we get of the big databases of clinical data, molecular data, integrated and customising this data just to define better profiles of patients and actually how we can sub-characterise the patient population with a particular disease but even how we can stratify patients based on the potential mechanisms that the tumours that they bear have primary or secondary resistance to any particular treatments. So lots of aspects in this field that also can contribute that we develop better clinical trials for our patients.

What sets WIN 2016 apart from other similar conferences?

The whole symposium actually is based on precision medicine in cancer. It’s very focussed, it’s very translational and cutting edge to the clinic. It’s on cancer and that’s why any investigator or any scientist that is involved in this translational research focussed to provide better opportunities for patients may consider to attend the WIN symposium. As mentioned, the programme is for that are going to be not only presenting the cutting edge areas that they are working with but also discussing on the potentiality that these opportunities, diagnostic, therapeutics, may have in real patients.

Who should attend?

As mentioned, all the stakeholders that may have an interest in precision medicine may consider to come. Obviously this is clinical oncologists, medical oncologist, haematologists but also basic scientists and translational research scientists but also members of leading physicians in pharma companies, not only at the clinical level but also the preclinical translational level. Importantly we expect to have also attendees from reimbursing bodies, from regulatory agencies, because the discussion is all together so we want to advance the field of precision medicine, getting outstanding data but also discussing on how this data can be incorporated into routine clinical practice with rapid innovation and conditional approvals, perhaps, of some of the combinations that we show and we demonstrate that are clinically active.

What is your take home message?

I invite all potential attendees. The meetings so far, the WIN symposiums, have been really very interactive and in two days you can have, as mentioned, excellent speakers but also a lot of interaction for the challenges and the prospects that we have. The yearly WIN symposium offers the opportunity to discuss the cutting edge information that has been presented or published or even not yet presented in a very multidisciplinary and interactive atmosphere and just to promote at the end to get the best strategies, the best clinical trials for our patients with cancer.