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As announced in the previous blog post, many of the former PrECISE project partners are currently involved in the follow-up H2020 project “iPC”.

“iPC” stands for “Individualized Paediatric Cure” and the project’s goal is to collect, standardize and harmonize existing clinical knowledge and medical data and, with the help of artificial intelligence, create treatment models for patients. Scientists will test them on virtual patients to evaluate treatment efficacy and toxicity, thus improving both patient survival and their quality of life.

In order to accomplish the project’s goals, an interdisciplinary team consisting of basic, translational, and clinical researchers - all amongst the leaders in their respective fields – has been formed. In addition, strong relationships with European Centres of Excellence, patient organizations, and clinical trials which focus on personalised medicine for our proposed case studies, have been established.

To summarize, iPC will address the critical need for personalized medicine for children with cancer, contribute to the digitalization of clinical workflows and support the European Digital Single Market Strategy. Find out more about iPC on the following website: https://ipc-project.eu/  and follow the project on Twitter: https://twitter.com/iPC_H2020

 

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After three years of hard work a team of doctors and scientists from Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, Germany, France and the US are happy to announce the successful conclusion of the PrECISE project. Its main achievement was to build - with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) - a user-friendly interface which can sift through thousands of different data sets and publications in order to help the clinical research community to craft individualized treatment plans for men who suffer from prostate cancer. Not only that, PrECISE now inspires also other scientists to use AI in a useful way for cancer treatment. Many of the former project partners are now collaborating in a follow-up project – called iPC – which uses the same technologies, but focusing on children cancer.

To sum up the project, a new podcast edition as well as a brand-new video have been released on the project website. Follow this link to check them out: https://www.precise-project.eu/news/press-news

If you are interested in all scientific publications that emerged from the PrECISE project, then have a look here: https://www.precise-project.eu/publications-deliverables/publications

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The technical and Advisory Board (AB) meeting in Zurich took place from 11th - 12th April 2018, hosted by ETH Zurich. The first day was dedicated to consortium internal discussions. The agenda of the technical meeting was structured according to the technical work packages, aggregated by the synopsis of all work packages to bridge the networks and the work done in the past 2.5 years. We discussed a clear roadmap in terms of deliveries, task conclusions, challenges and risks for the next months until the project end. The meeting showed, that the results of collaboration within the PrECISE project are encouraging so far.

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The Advisory Board members joined us on day 2: 

  • Markus Christen, UZH Digital Society Initiative & Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine
  • Diego Di Bernardo, University of Naples and TIGEM
  • Silke Gillessen, Kantonsspital St. Gallen - Klinik für Med. Onkologie und Hämatologie
  • Hans Lehrach, Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics
  • Mark Rubin, University of Bern Biomedical Research Department

The discussions were fruitful for the future of the project. In particular, the Q&A session was significant in terms of new perspectives. Overall, the methods developed were positively assessed by the Advisory Board and evaluated as “cutting edge” in cancer research. The PrECISE Consortium has demonstrated to work well and the collaboration between the partners is efficient, and the integration between inputs and factors from different disciplines and tasks goes on.

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On Friday, 21st July 2017, the PrECISE technical and General Assembly (GA) meeting took place in Prague, Czech Republic.

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The GA meeting was mainly dedicated to the ongoing periodic reporting session. The technical meeting focused on the ongoing research work of the single work packages, the upcoming challenges and the ongoing discussions between interacting partners. The discussion in WP1 and WP2 mainly focused on methods for predicting clonal compositions and evaluated them on synthetic data and on HCC profiles. The focus of the WP3 presentations was on prostatic cell line perturbation experiment time-course data processing and network reconstruction algorithms. WP4 is currently dealing with automatic reconstruction of molecular networks from publications, databases and datasets. In WP5 the focus lies on the integration of patient molecular data into the logical models - drug target prediction is one of the upcoming challenges. WP6 is currently selecting and preparing patient samples for molecular profiling. WP7 is working on the visualization of pathways and the data input interface. One of the upcoming challenges in general is taking into account a large number of factors and inputs from a variety of disciplines and tasks and integrate them in respect of the overall PrECISE goals. The meeting was great success and a lot of upcoming action points were defined.

 

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The meeting was co-located with the 25th Conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology and the 16th European Conference on Computational Biology (ISMB/ECCB 2017). The PrECISE consortium was heavily involved in the poster sessions:

  • Session A-234: DeepGRN: Deciphering gene deregulation in cancer development using deep learning (IBM)
  • Session A-319: Inferring network statistics from high-dimensional time-course data (TUDA)
  • Session A-323: Fast biological network reconstruction from high-dimensional time-course perturbation data using sparse multivariate Gaussian processes (TUDA)
  • Session A-357: Conceptual and computational framework for logical modelling of biological networks deregulated in diseases (CI)
  • Session A-364: Pan-cancer classification of gene signatures for their information value and functional redundancy (CI)
  • Session B-276: Selection of stable biomarker signature for prediction of metabolic phenotypes (ETH, IBM)
  • Session B-330: A computational framework for systems pathology of prostate cancer (UZH, ETH, IBM)
  • Session B-384: Inferring clonal composition from multiple tumor biopsies (BCM, ETH, IBM, UZH)


The consortium is currently planning a technical meeting involving also the ADVISORY BOARD members. This meeting is planned to be held in autumn 2017.

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From 8th – 10th December the 14th Annual Rocky Mountain Bioinformatics Conference took place in Aspen. At this conference members of the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB) meet and exchange their know-how and expertise. IBM gave a talk concerning the “Stratification of prostate cancer patients based on molecular interaction profiles” at the Rocky Conference.

Furthermore an interview with IBM on artificial intelligence was published on 2nd December 2016 in the Swiss French Newspaper L’Hebdo. For our French speaking followers, the transcript can be found here.

Members of the PrECISE consortium are currently working on submissions for the ISMB/ECCB Conference taking place from 21st until 25th July in Prague, Czech Republic. The team will also meet internally on the first day to discuss PrECISE related questions and challenges and the way forward.

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