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Austrian Comprehensive Cancer Network (ACCN)

Zusammenschluss der Medizinischen Universitäten in Graz, Innsbruck und Wien zum ACCN

Vienna, Innsbruck and Graz together against cancer: first concrete projects in the Austrian Comprehensive Cancer Network (ACCN)

73 high-ranking and highly motivated cancer experts from the Comprehensive Cancer Centers in Vienna, Innsbruck and Graz worked together intensively at the ACCN Project Meeting on the campus of the Medical University of Vienna and Vienna General Hospital in Vienna on May 27, 2024. The aim: to define specific Austria-wide collaboration projects where patients and researchers can benefit from cross-center cooperation. The three heads of the CCC Vienna, Shahrokh F. Shariat, Innsbruck, Dominik Wolf, and Graz, Philipp Jost, invited the participants, who were highly motivated and the results are impressive.

The Austrian Comprehensive Cancer Network (ACCN) pools the resources and expertise of the three Austrian CCCs in Graz, Vienna and Innsbruck in order to jointly develop innovative treatment approaches and research results for cancer patients. The aim of the ACCN is to further improve prevention and cutting-edge medicine in oncology through the networking of local structures and to make optimum use of synergies between the three locations in order to fight cancer together.

After a welcome by the three CCC directors and an overview of the ACCN, the high-level, interdisciplinary working groups focused on four common and two rare tumor diseases: Prostate, Colon, Lung and Breast Carcinoma as well as Pediatric CNS Tumors and Musculoskeletal Tumors - Sarcomas were on the agenda. In the afternoon, the Tissue and Blood Biobank, young ACCN and Precision Medicine working groups were reorganized. The cancer experts engaged in intensive discussions and developed concrete projects to be implemented together in the next step, as well as the form of further collaboration in the project groups.

Concrete projects for EU Mission Cancer

"We are delighted with the high level of commitment, the highly professional and constructive collaboration and the diversity of the projects developed," say CCC heads Shariat, Wolf and Jost. "The first ACCN Project Meeting showed how enriching and valuable it is to work together even more closely and in a more structured way beyond the boundaries of one's own organization, especially when it comes to cancer research, medicine and care." Challenges such as data protection and the different regional circumstances in the city of Vienna on the one hand and in rural areas on the other were also discussed. By founding the ACCN, the three CCCs have already fulfilled an important task that the EU Mission Cancer envisages by 2030: Close cross-center collaboration between the country's Comprehensive Cancer Centers. The project groups will submit their projects to national and EU-wide funding bodies for implementation.

After the impressive presentation of all the resulting projects at the end of the day, the networking continued at the get-together in the old AKH. The participants drew a positive conclusion from the productive day and emphasized the great benefit for the further development of cancer therapies through collaboration and learning from each other. Further CCC-wide working meetings are already being planned.