Liquid biopsies are blood tests offering a minimally invasive, safe, and sensitive alternative or complimentary approach for tissue biopsies. The European Liquid Biopsies Academy (ELBA) is an Innovative Training Network that will educate 15 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) with the skills to circumvent the obstacles currently hampering effective development and commercialisation of liquid biopsy approaches. It will make scientific advances towards widespread implementation of blood-based diagnostics tests, create a sustainable network to foster long-term multidisciplinary relationships to accelerate clinical translation of blood-based diagnostics tests and publish a roadmap to liquid biopsy test development. The training includes the key disciplines of molecular biology and medicine, bioinformatic/biostatics/mathematics/computer science and social sciences (health economics and technology assessment). The project will run from January 2018 until December 2021.
The European Cancer Patient Coalition will take part in ELBA as a partner organisation. We will contribute to the training courses by offering expertise in patient involvement, as well as advocating the role of patients/co-researchers as the best partnership model between researchers and patients, since it allows patients to contribute with their unique experience to key decisions regarding research projects. ECPC Secretary Jana Pelouchova is also on the Project Advisory Board to monitor the project progress and provide input on the design and direction. ECPC will be using its communication channels to share information about the project, its results and its participants. A representative of the ECPC will attend each annual meeting and deliver a presentation on the important role that people with cancer play in research. The ECPC will also participate in workshops on communicating complex research results to a public audience, understanding the patient perspective, and on scientific writing.
ECPC: Klevisa Ceka, ECPC Head of Health and Research Programmes
ELBA is funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions: a part of the EU Horizon 2020 Programme, Grant Agreement N° 765492.