Breast cancer samples from the MINDACT trial stored at IBBL

IBBL (Integrated BioBank of Luxembourg) has announced that it now hosts an extensive breast cancer collection from a European clinical trial. The EU-supported study aims to improve prediction of the risk of recurrence in breast cancer patients in order to better select patients who can safely be spared chemotherapy.
Even if breast cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, where it hasn’t spread yet and can be surgically removed, a significant number of women eventually relapse due to metastases. Thus, patients with a high risk of recurrence are treated with additional chemotherapy following surgery. Although chemotherapy can be a life-saving treatment, it has important side effects. It is therefore essential to be able to identify those patients who will really benefit from the treatment. Currently, oncologists base their decisions about administering chemotherapy on a combination of factors, such as presence of hormone and HER-2 receptors, age, tumor size, lymph node involvement and grade. These prognostic tools are limited, however, and do not allow doctors to optimally distinguish between patients needing treatment or not.

The MINDACT (Microarray In Node negative Disease may Avoid ChemoTherapy) trial was set up to improve the accuracy of treatment decision-making in order to avoid chemotherapy whenever safely possible. The study’s main objective is to assess the safe use of Mammaprint® to more accurately predict recurrence without affecting patient survival. Commercialized by Agendia, this tool measures the expression (level of activity) of a set of 70 genes able to categorize patients into high or low risk of relapse. It is believed that the concomitant use of this type of tool with the common clinical and pathological factors described above will allow a better selection of patients needing chemotherapy.

MINDACT is partially supported by the European Commission. It was developed under the TRANSBIG network, a consortium of the Breast International Group (BIG), which is a non-profit network of breast cancer research groups from around the world. The trial is sponsored and coordinated by the EORTC (European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer), the largest independent cancer research organization in Europe, regrouping over 300 institutions.

In this trial more than 11000 patients were screened and 6600 patients were recruited between 2007 and 2011 from 111 European institutions. The over 52,000 samples derived from these patients, including tissue, blood and serum, have now been moved to IBBL for long-term storage. IBBL’s research support infrastructure and central location in Europe is ideal for the collection and storage of biological samples from such large-scale international studies.

This is the second European clinical trial within a short period of time for which the young biobank has been selected. Dr Catherine Larue, Chief Executive Officer of IBBL comments; “We are proud to be chosen for international studies by prestigious organizations and are constantly looking for new avenues to enhance our activities. This type of collaboration can further grow both IBBL’s and Luxembourg’s reputation within the international biomedical research sector”

About IBBL

IBBL (Integrated BioBank of Luxembourg) is an independent, not-for-profit Luxembourg-based biobank dedicated to improving health outcomes for patients by supporting high standards of medical research. IBBL serves as an international center of excellence in biobanking, and helps to accelerate the introduction of personalized healthcare in Luxembourg. IBBL collects, stores, and analyses biological samples and associated data, which are made available to research organizations investigating human diseases. IBBL has built an integrated infrastructure offering biospecimens, data, technologies and biospecimen research to support a successful biomedical research industry in Luxembourg and facilitate rapid translation of discoveries into improved care. IBBL also provides administrative support to the Luxembourg Personalized Medicine Consortium (PMC). With the help of the people of Luxembourg, IBBL catalyzes partnerships and supports research that translates today’s discoveries into tomorrow’s healthcare solutions.
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Founded in 1962, the European Organisation for the Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) brings together European cancer clinical research experts from all disciplines for trans-national collaboration.

Both multinational and multidisciplinary, the EORTC Network comprises more than 2,500 collaborators from all disciplines involved in cancer treatment and research in more than 300 hospitals in over 30 countries.

Through translational and clinical research, the EORTC offers an integrated approach to drug development, drug evaluation programs and medical practices.
EORTC Headquarters, a unique pan European independent clinical research infrastructure, is based in Brussels, Belgium, from where its various activities are coordinated and run.

About BIG

The Breast International Group (BIG) is a non-profit organization for academic breast cancer research groups from around the world, based in Brussels, Belgium.

Founded by leading European opinion leaders in 1999, BIG now constitutes a network of 49 collaborative groups from Europe, Canada, Latin America, Asia and Australasia. These entities are tied to several thousand specialized hospitals and research centers worldwide. More than 30 clinical trials are run or are under development under the BIG umbrella at any one time. BIG also works closely with the US National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the North American Breast Cancer Groups (NABCG), so that together they act as a strong integrating force in the breast cancer research arena.

To make significant scientific advances in breast cancer research, reduce unnecessary duplication of effort, and optimally serve those affected by the disease, large-scale cooperation is crucial. Therefore BIG facilitates breast cancer research at international level, by stimulating cooperation between its members and other academic networks, and collaborating closely with, but working independently from, the pharmaceutical industry.

Arnaud d’Agostini, Marketing & Communication Manager
Sarah Weiler, Science Communication Officer
IBBL (Integrated BioBank of Luxembourg)

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