Workshop: Clinical decision support systems for Breast and prostate cancer focus on prognostic and predictive tools

7th – 8th March 2016, UCD Conway Lecture Theatre, University College Dublin, Ireland

Focus of workshop:

Personalised cancer therapy is dependent on accurate and informative prognostic and predictive tests to determine patient outcome, both in the absence and presence of therapy, respectively. Excluding non-melanoma skin cancers, breast and prostate cancer represent the most frequently diagnosed cancers in women and men in the EU, respectively, with breast cancer the leading cause of cancer-related death in women and prostate cancer the 3rd leading cause of cancer-related death in men. For both cancer types, disease is now frequently diagnosed at an earlier age, due to improved screening programmes, particularly in economically developed countries. However, with this increase in early diagnoses comes a key decision point for clinicians – how to distinguish aggressive cancers with a propensity to invade and metastasise from those which are indolent and unlikely to spread? Once disease severity has been determined, there is a need for enhanced pre-selection of patients likely to respond to specific therapeutic regimes, in order to avoid unnecessary treatment and maximise benefit to the patient. This issue is particular acute in the context of targeted therapy and the associated costs of usage of same.

This workshop will bring together experts in both breast and prostate cancer biomarker and statistical developments from both academic and industrial settings. Topics will include novel technologies/assay platforms, integrative statistical modelling, use of computational/systems medicine approaches and leveraging of multi-dimensional and longitudinal data. The workshop will also tackle health economic issues and drivers, as well as risk perception from both the clinician and patient perspective.

A key focus of the event will be examination of relevant call topics within the Horizon 2020 work programme, such as SC1-PM-02-2017 ‘New concepts in patient stratification’, and initial planning for potential collaborative bids involving subgroups of workshop participants.

Funding for this workshop has been obtained via Science Foundation Ireland Investigator Program-Catalyst Award (15/IACA/3418)

Primary organisers/contact details:
Professor William Gallagher, Professor of Cancer Biology (
Professor William Watson, Associate Professor of Cancer Biology (
UCD Conway Institute, University College Dublin
Belfield, Dublin 4, IRELAND

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