25 July 2019

A European Workshop Against Cancer

On June 13 and 14, 2019, the "Network Against Cancer" workshop brought together the European universities of the 4EU + alliance at the Sorbonne University Faculty of Medicine. Under the auspices of the University's International Relations Department and with the institutional support of the Faculty of Medicine and the APHP hospital group.61, the APHP.6 - University Institute of Oncology at Sorbonne University organized a first meeting on training and integrated research.

Dr. Ahmed Idbaih2, a neuro-oncologist at the Pitié-Salpêtrière University Hospital, researcher at the Brain and Spinal Cord Institute3 and lecturer at the Sorbonne University Faculty of Medicine, coordinates this consortium, which testifies the synergy of the Alliance's universities.

Ahmed Idbaih © Sorbonne University - Pierre Kitmacher
Ahmed Idbaih © Sorbonne University - Pierre Kitmacher

One of the ambitions of the 4EU + Alliance is to build on topics such as the environment, Europe, computing and health, shared academic programmes that are enriched with research. Supported by the Alliance, the workshop "Network Against Cancer" is fully in line with this perspective.

For two days, academic researchers and clinicians from the Alliance member universities and the Sorbonne University Faculty of Medicine met to establish, with SIRIC CURAMUS4, a multidisciplinary training programme in oncology.

"This consortium has allowed us to get to know each other better and to identify the strengths and expertise of each university to create synergies in teaching and research," says Dr. Ahmed Idbaih.

From these exchanges, the group created a project for a summer school in 2020 whose objective is to offer students of the Alliance a panorama of the latest advances in oncology. They will benefit from teaching in biology and computer science (especially in big data and artificial intelligence), but also on precision medicine and the development of innovative therapies. Teaching in medical humanities, an emerging field of medicine, will address ethical, philosophical, social and psychological aspects related to medical research. Through meetings with startups and companies, students will discover different professional perspectives in academic and industrial research, but also the issues of technology transfer.

"We have one year to implement this summer school, which will be the first step in an international joint cancer education programme at the Alliance level," says the coordinator. We benefit for this from the support of our institutions and all the actors present at the workshop."

Subsequently, a European master's degree and a doctoral programme in oncology common to the six universities of the Alliance should be ready by 2022. They will make it possible to carry out international co-supervision, to encourage student mobility, but also to exchange technological advances between the Alliance laboratories. For students, these training courses will be an opportunity to start building their future professional network on a European scale.

In a second phase, workshops will be organised that are dedicated to research. These workshops will make it possible to set up ambitious research projects between the six European Universities of the Alliance and to obtain shared material, financial and human resources by jointly and more efficiently responding to calls for tenders.

  1. The Pitié-Salpêtrière - Charles-Foix public hospital group and the Eastern Paris public hospital group (Saint-Antoine, Tenon, Armand-Trousseau, Rothschild, La Roche-Guyon) into a single hospital group APHP.6.

  2. Dr. Ahmed Idbaih is also a member of IUC-APHP.6-SU.

  3. ICM (a joint Sorbonne University, APHP, CNRS, Inserm institute

  4. CURAMUS Integrated Cancer Research Site (cancer united research associating medicine, university & society)