The Quic-Concept project
- confirmed the relationship between imaging and underlying biology for two key imaging biomarkers: ADC (Apparent Diffusion Coefficient) of water proteins and FLT (Fluorothymidine) uptake;
- allows drug developers to use these imaging biomarkers with more confidence;
- showed that ADC was a better predictor of tumour cellularity - and not of necrosis, as was previously thought;
- found that FLT decreased with effective treatment. They found unexpected findings when used with inhibitors of the de novo pathway of thymidine synthesis whereby a flare effect is seen (up to 10-fold increase);
- created new imaging tools to allow more effective clinical trials leading to new cancer therapies;
- provided access to the scientific community to more accurate interpretation of drug-induced imaging changes;
- allows confounds to be identified and avoided;
- agreed criteria for validation;
- provided proof of concept for radiomics.
Currently available imaging biomarkers (IBs) illuminate only a small proportion of the tumour pathologies so there is a pressing need to develop measures of proliferation, apoptosis and necrosis into biomarkers which can reliably support both positive and negative decisions.
Through a portfolio of highly innovative approaches to devise, evaluate and introduce IBs of invasion and metastasis, the QuIC-ConCePT vision for January 2016 was that drug developers would be able to incorporate these IBs for decision-making in Phase I trials of investigational therapies that can be readily deployed in multiple cancer centres in a robust, consistent, ethical, and cost-effective way that is acceptable to patients.
The managing entity European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) is already a world leader in the qualification of IBs and the consortium includes some of the world's most productive and innovative physicians and scientists in cancer imaging. The QuIC-ConCePT project worked in close collaboration with the FP7 project EuroBioImaging “Research infrastructure for imaging technologies in biological and biomedical sciences” coordinated by EIBIR and EMBL. EORTC ensured the link between the two projects fostering crossfertilisation and preventing duplication.
The QuIC-ConCept consortium partners consisted of 14 academic organisations combined with 1 SME working with 7 EFPIA companies.