In the last years, the scientific community working in the field of preclinical cancer research has realised the importance of mutualising efforts and exchanging models and expertise to avoid duplication.
In addition, a number of publications have pointed out the necessity of raising standards in preclinical cancer research to significantly improve the success of drug development in the field of oncology.
To improve the robustness of data, preclinical studies need to be conducted with the rigour and challenges of clinical trials.
Patient derived tumour xenografts (PDXs) are today recognised as very relevant preclinical cancer models, however they are very time-consuming and consequently very expensive.
Based on (i) the valuable collaborations already established by some of the teams at the origin of this initiative, (ii) the increasing interest in these models in the academic and industrial arena, (iii) the necessity of raising standards in preclinical studies, and (iv) the need for covering as best as possible the patient’s tumour heterogeneity, a first meeting for multicentre discussion was organised at Institut Curie (Paris, France) in January 2013.
This first meeting already gathered 14 cancer centres and universities across 9 European countries and confirmed the high interest of all to engage into a joint initiative focusing on clinically relevant models of cancer.
Since then, 2 additional cancer centres joined, and several additional meetings already allowed to clearly define the objectives of the Consortium, identify opportunities for funding, initiate discussions about common standards, and trigger a number of new collaborations for multicentre studies between the involved teams and additional scientists.
And much more to come!