The main goal within NBTC is to ensure that all patients in Norway, diagnosed with a brain tumor receive optimal treatment, and also to ensure that more patients who currently have poor prognosis are offered access to experimental treatments. NBTC is working towards a
The goals and organization of the working groups
personalized medicine initiative that will ensure that patients with a brain tumor will have the opportunity to receive tailored treatment alternatives. To achieve this goal, 4 working groups have been established, each with a leader.
1. A national quality register for brain cancer
The cancer registry, in collaboration with NBTC, will establish a national quality registry for patients with brain tumors. This is important in order to gain a clear overview and understanding of the course of the disease at the various treatment institutions in Norway. A national quality register is also important in order to compare different treatments provided at Norwegian hospitals and will ensure that all patients receive an optimal and quality-assured treatment regardless of where they are treated in Norway. This initiative is led by Prof. Tor Ingebrigtsen at the University Hospital of Northern Norway.
2. Establishment of standardized biobank procedures for storage and transport of living tumor tissue
The initial research and evaluation of new medicines is carried out on living cancer cells in a laboratory, following surgical removal of the tumor. From the tumor tissue, small living mini-tumors (cancer organoids) are established that will be subjected to experimental treatment. We will standardize these methods at a national level to ensure that such organoids can be transported in a safe manner within the NBTC/network. Such an initiative is important for the future development of personalized treatments. The biobank initiative is led by professors Ole Solheim and Magnar Bjørås at NTNU and St. Olav’s Hospital.
3. Inclusion of patients with brain cancer in existing clinical trials
There are a number of ongoing clinical studies being carried out in Norway, supported by Norwegian hospitals. Our goal is to offer more patients the opportunity to participate in existing clinical trials. This will be done by increasing awareness within patient groups and coordinating communication between different treatment centers in Norway. This group is led by oncologist Petter Brandal at Oslo University Hospital.
4. Development of functional personalized screening technology
In many patients with malignant brain tumors, the disease will at some point develop resistance to both radiation and the most common forms of chemotherapy. Our future treatment strategy will focus on personalized treatments. We will establish a unique technology platform to identify new treatment alternatives that involves the use of both existing known medicines and new medicines. A multidisciplinary panel consisting of leading neurosurgeons, oncologists, pathologists, researchers and bioinformaticians will, through the results obtained from PFP, assess each individual patient’s treatment options in order to find the best treatment alternative based on their tumor profile.