The Precision Oncology School was organized for the third consecutive year in June 2022. The third edition but the first face-to-face in Archamps! An intense programme that took place over two weeks, totalling 80 hours of courses and practical work on the state of the art of precision oncology, a day with the Knowledge Transfer group at CERN, meetings with start-ups, and sessions in entrepreneurship and innovation. These allowed the 34 participants (no less than 18 nationalities!) to advance step by step on the development of 5 innovation projects selected from the subjects previously proposed by the students.

This intensive program was developed by the members of the Steering Committee, representatives of the school’s partner organisations. We were able to count on the active participation of 40 speakers and coaches who, throughout the school, shared their knowledge and professional experience through 5 pillars: 1) clinical research, 2) medical physics, 3) biology and gene expression, 4) environment, prediction and prevention, 5) innovation and entrepreneurship.

Participants came from various Master programmes from the Université Grenoble-Alpes (Erasmus Mundus BeInPM, BioHealth Engineering, Medical Physics, AI for OneHealth) and the Université Claude Bernard Lyon (Oncology), joined by PhD students from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC-IARC), as well as from the Universities of Montreal and Laval in Quebec as part of the Région Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes programme “Pack Ambition Internationale”.

The school ended with a “pitching” session where the 5 teams presented their innovation projects in front of a panel of experts. The projects focused on:

  • DROPEA: A medical device to regularly monitor the occurrence of mutations in women diagnosed with hormone-dependent breast cancer to allow oncologists to adapt medication in time to avoid relapses.
  • OnConnect: A platform that provides digital tools and services that enable every actor in public research, health and industry in oncology to contribute to and benefit from data, stored securely and confidentially, to work on artificial intelligence.
  • HÔ’MM: An innovative and non-invasive device that detects and quantifies onco-metabolites from a drop of blood in order to measure the effectiveness of the current treatment, adjust it if necessary and detect early relapses of cancer. The device is connected to software accessible to patients and clinicians. The data collected generates curves showing in real time the evolution of the size of the patient’s tumour.
  • iCThorax: A software designed for public hospitals, private radiologists and CT scanner manufacturers with the aim of optimizing the detection of lung cancer in low-contrast CT scans. The software improves the detection of nodules of small size and at an early stage during screening. It improves the algorithm and helps reduce the current mortality rate for this cancer.
  • CaLTrack by CALPET: The increase in tumour size due to the invasion of immune system cells can be confused with true tumour progression in some patients. This tool addresses this problem by making it possible to monitor this progression by targeting the lymphocytes infiltrating the tumour on medical imaging. This new product allows doctors to follow patients treated with immunotherapy.

The iCThorax project received a special mention from the panel.

After more than 2 years of organizing our schools remotely because of the COVID pandemic, welcoming speakers and students during this summer school was a great opportunity for the ESI team to renew with the joys of face-to-face knowledge sharing.