Funded by 128 mill NOK: Centre for Clinical Treatment Research - MATRIX

Åslaug Helland, centre leader
Åslaug Helland, centre leader

The Research Council of Norway and the Norwegian Cancer Society have allocated 128 mill. NOK for a Centre for Clincial Treatment Research for treatment of cancer. 

"This funding is an important contribution to Norwegian cancer research and will ensure that more patients will be included into clinical trials. The aim is new and better treatment alternatives for hard-to-treat cancers. We will develop next generation diagnostics and treatment for increased overall survival and quality of life for cancer patients all over Norway" says Åslaug Helland, leader of the centre.


From the press release:

In the research center " Multimodal Approach Targeting treatment Refractory cancers usIng neXt generation technologies and trials (MATRIX)", we aim to enable cancer patients to live longer with a better quality of life. 13 hospitals and several research groups throughout Norway will participate in the Centre. The idea is to develop and establish new diagnostics, both molecular cancer diagnostics and imaging diagnostics, so that patients can be treated more precisely and with greater effect. We also aim to enhance patients involvment in treatment decisions, and the focus on patient-reported outcomes. Half of the budget is for clinical trials and we plan to run trials with new and exciting drugs and combinations and with new cell gene therapies.. In addition, studies will be conducted in patient-centered cancer treatment, where quality of life will be an important end point. The methods for involving patients will be further developed with the use modern computer technology. Methods will be developed that enable patients to report the quality of life and symptoms from home, either from a smartphone or a PC.

We have gathered experts from all over Norway to contribute with their knowledge, and we will work in several areas of cancer care. Experts in radiology and image analysis are involved, so that we can use data from CT, PET and MRI in a better way, to ensure that patients receive more precise treatment. In addition, we have research expertise in molecular biology and drug sensitivity screening. These are promising new methods, and we hope to use then to assess which treatment is most likely to have effect on patients with aggressive cancer even in the early stages of the disease. World-leading experts in patient-centered cancer treatment are essential to include patients' preferences and quality of life as factors in the treatment algorithms during and after treatment of the cancerous tumor.

Hospitals in all health regions participate in the center, precisely to ensure that patients from all over Norway can participate in the studies. The financial support will largely go to the hospitals that have patients in treatment in the studies, in addition to the diagnostics. The hospitals' involvement in the project enables treatment in clinical trials close to where the patients live. In addition, the competence around clinical studies will improve, and we believe this will make Norway a more attractive country for more clinical studies from industry as well.

The project is divided into five work packages. Work package 1 in the center deals with diagnostics, which involves both molecular methods and image analyzes, such as PET, CT and MRI. Work package 2 includes treatment, with development and clinical studies and study models in both precision treatment based on molecular analyzes of tumor cells and cell therapy. Work package 3 deals with patient-centered treatment, while work package 4 works to build up a national network for conducting clinical studies. In work package 5, the focus is on how new knowledge from research is implemented and changes the standard treatment in the health care system.

Stein Kaasa and Åslaug Helland play central roles in establishing and running the new centre. Photo: Christian Tandberg, OUS.



News articles in Norwegian:

From the Norwegian Research Council:
Tre nye sentre skal drive klinisk forskning på revmatisme, hodepine og kreft

From Dagens Medisin:
Jubler over storsatsning på kreft, revmatisme og hodepine

From the Norwegian Cancer Society:
– Et stort løft for norske kreftpasienter

From Oslo University Hospital:
Forskningssenter for klinisk kreftbehandling - MATRIX - tildelt 128 millioner!

Åslaug Helland speaks to the audience during the launching ceremony on December 7th. Photo: Christian Tandberg, OUS.


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