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Translational studies of HEAD and neck cancer in South America and Europe

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - HEADSpAcE (Translational studies of HEAD and neck cancer in South America and Europe)

Período documentado: 2020-07-01 hasta 2021-12-31

Worldwide, more than 550,000 new cases of head and neck cancer (HNC) occur each year, resulting in approximately 300,000 deaths annually. It is the 6th most common cancer in both Europe and South America. A major reason for the high mortality rate for this cancer is the late stage of diagnosis for many patients. Accurate assessment of the prognosis of HNC cases also allows for appropriate treatment decisions. HEADSpAcE brings together a consortium of 18 partners with a long and successful record of collaboration in HNC. The impact of HEADSpAcE will be to understand reasons for late diagnosis and reduce the proportion of HNC that are diagnosed at a very late stage. It will identify the most appropriate fashion for diagnosis cancer caused by human papillomavirus, and also provide genomic evidence of strong predictors of prognosis that will have the potential to improve care and reduce treatment related morbidity. We will also develop guidelines for implementation into clinical care.
Information from existing participating biorepositories have been integrated into a consortium-level Sample Tracking System to facilitate sample selection across work packages. Development of recruitment protocols and integration of data collection methods across centres using the REDCap platform has been completed. Appropriate ethical documentation has been completed for the HEADSpAcE study. This includes federal approval from the Brazilian National Ethics Committee (CONEP) which is required before any samples can be shipped abroad as part of an international study. Data and materials transfer agreements for consortium members were developed considering data privacy and GDPR and are now executed. Epidemiological data from existing biorepositories has been harmonized across partners. All selected samples prepared by participating institutions in Europe and South America were transferred and centralized at IARC as part of WP1 prior distribution to the different WP centres. All selected oropharyngeal cancer (OPC) samples from WP3 were transferred to partners and transfer of the remaining samples for WP5 should be completed by April 2022. Standard operating procedures were developed for sample processing, HPV evaluation, ELISA and IHC assays and are now implemented as part of WP3. Genome-wide genotyping efforts (WP6) are completed with data undergoing quality control and imputation of missing genotypes, data will be available for analysis in April 2022. The main results achieved so far is the continued recruitment of subjects at some centres despite severe COVID19-related delays. The infrastructure for the consortium is well developed and functioning, with consistent consortium-wide and WorkPackage-specific calls taking place for continuous communication. Progress is continuing although its rate has been impacted by COVID19. Nevertheless, as partner institutions develop strategies to continue work in the presence of COVID19, the HEADSpAcE project continues to advance and meet its objectives.
The continuous disruptions experienced due to the Covid-19 pandemic throughout the HEADSpAcE project brought an opportunity to incorporate into our assessment of risk determinants of late-stage head and neck cancer diagnosis, relevant information of the impact of Covid-19 in different centres in Europe and South America. WP2 developed a Covid disruption form to monitor the interruptions in patient recruitment and hospital services.
The HEADSpAcE initiative aimed genotype approximately 3000 new samples, this funding has led to other grant funding and as a result the number of new samples with germline genotype data will be 8,080 samples. This will greatly benefit the power for WP6 analyses and improve the publicly available deliverables for use in future research.