Launched back in early 2012, the European Alliance for Personalised Medicine (EAPM) connects European healthcare experts and patient advocates involved with major chronic diseases, with cancer naturally high on the agenda. This powerful Alliance strives to improve patient care by accelerating the development, delivery and uptake of precision medicine and diagnostics. By engaging the European Commission, the European Parliament and EU Member States, EAPM also seeks to improve the regulatory environment so that patients across Europe can benefit from early access to personalized healthcare, as well as promote research for public health.

Aimed at further delivering on these ambitions, the Alliance organizes an annual series of congresses in order to extend the reach of precision medicine across the EU. By uniting all stakeholders, these meetings have been devised to promote discussion and debate surrounding the challenges that currently impede the improved integration of personalized medicine, as well as map key action points that should be pursued to overcome them.

Marking the inaugural edition, this year’s EAPM Congress – Personalising Your Health: A Global Imperative27 – 30 November, Belfast, has been organized in partnership with Queen’s University Belfast. Under the superb scientific co-chairmanship of Anastassia Negrouk, Head of EORTC´s International Regulatory and Intergroup Unit, Hein Van Poppel, European Association of Urology, and Mark Lawler, Dean of Education, Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences, Queen’s University Belfast, in collaboration with many renowned experts spanning research, information and communication technology, professional medical societies, industry, patient advocacy and policy, the overarching objective of this meeting is to ultimately help shape the EU health agenda in tune with the rapidly emerging landscape of precision medicine.

This year’s Congress also celebrates the launch of EAPM’s Health Innovation Five ´HI-5´ Awards. In recognition of VHIO´s purely integrative and translational research model that tightly connects cancer discovery with clinical research, our Institute has been awarded under the category of Best EU-based hospital for integrating personalised cancer medicine. This prestigious HI-5, awarded yesterday during the Presidency Gala Dinner, was presented to Elena Garralda, Executive Director of our Research Unit for Molecular Therapy of Cancer (UITM) “la Caixa”, and Principal Investigator of VHIO’s Early Clinical Drug Development Group.

Receiving the Award on behalf of VHIO’s Director Josep Tabernero and our multidisciplinary teams of cancer scientists and clinical investigators, Elena Garralda says, “We are honored and thrilled to have received this important HI-5 recognition and are truly grateful to the European Alliance for Personalised Medicine for favorably considering our nomination. VHIO’s privileged location within the Vall d’Hebron Barcelona Hospital Campus affords us direct access to patients as well as the entire spectrum of oncology professionals who care for them. Our tightly connected and collaborative research not only helps us to accelerate the bench-bedside-bed cycle of knowledge, but also spurs our scientific programs aimed reversing cancer resistance, halting metastatic spread, and more effectively treating even the most undruggable tumour types.”

 “This Award recognizes our dedication and determination that drive us to better integrate and more swiftly transform precision medicine against cancer. Translating cancer discovery into benefits for our patients as quickly as possible is at the core of everything we do. It is thanks to our multidisciplinary teams, incorporating VHIO’s talented cancer researchers, top drawer clinical investigators, and leading physicians at our Hospital’s Medical Oncology Department, that we have one of the most comprehensive and personalised cancer research, treatment and care programs in Europe,” concludes Josep Tabernero, VHIO’s Director, Head, Medical Oncology Department, Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, and President-Elect of the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO).

For more information please contact: Amanda Wren, Director of Communications, Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO): awren@vhio.net.

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