CORDIS - EU research results

International NETwork for training and innovations in THErapeutic RADiation

Project description

An international training network targets improved radiation therapy by focusing on biology

Healthy cells are much better at repairing DNA damage. Using targeted radiation at a dose that kills cancer cells but not healthy cells is the goal of treatment. Radiotherapy utilises ionising radiation to treat cancer by damaging the DNA in cancer cells sufficiently to result in cell death. An enhanced understanding of the radiation-induced changes to tumours, their microenvironment and the immune system is needed to improve the outcomes of radiotherapy. THERADNET brings together experts in radiobiology from six countries to achieve the critical mass necessary to stimulate new insight and innovation in radiotherapy. It will pave the way to more effective use of this common and powerful weapon against most types of cancer.


Radiotherapy alone or in multimodality approaches is applied in 45-60% of all cancer patients, but despite technical innovations approximately only 50% are cured. Disease recurrence may be due to regrowth of the primary tumor or metastatic outgrowth. Intrinsic and acquired resistance of the tumor and adverse reactions in the co-irradiated surrounding normal tissues dampen a successful therapy outcome. Substantial improvements are now expected from biologically optimized, personalized radiotherapy. This network is built on the premises that integration of novel-emerging radiobiological and tumor-biological concepts into current standard-of-care will improve outcome of radiotherapy-treated cancer patients. As the field of radiobiology is small in individual countries, it is essential to cooperate on the European level to achieve a critical mass for innovation in research and training.
The partners in this network will stimulate outstanding science to understand the plasticity of an altered tumor metabolism and tumor microenvironment, including the immune system, prior to, and in response to radiotherapy, as well as related dose-limiting adverse effects in normal tissues. Research and development of novel combined treatment modalities in these areas will be performed in models as close as possible to the clinical situation to evaluate their potential to widen the therapeutic window beyond standard-of-care.
Students will benefit from outstanding expertise and collaborations within academia and industry integrating novel concepts into translational cancer and radiation research. This will guarantee high employability in various sectors of cancer research and precision medicine. The European community will benefit from the pursuit of innovative hypotheses, training of new researchers, and dissemination of knowledge. By combatting a major death-related disease in Europe, this project will raise health and bring long-term benefit to the European and international community.


Net EU contribution
€ 562 553,28
8006 Zurich

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Schweiz/Suisse/Svizzera Zürich Zürich
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 562 553,28

Participants (7)