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AIDIT — Result In Brief

Project ID: 18686

Support for prostate cancer screening initiative

An EU-funded project has boosted awareness of a study aimed at screening men with a genetic predisposition to prostate cancer. The initiative helped establish an international network and increase relevant participation in the study.
Support for prostate cancer screening initiative
Some 200 000 men in the EU are diagnosed annually with prostate cancer — a number likely to rise considering the ageing population. An important element in study of the disease is the role played by inherited genetic factors. For example, prior research has found that the breast cancer predisposition genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 can significantly increase the risk of prostate cancer.

Aiming to advance research and efforts focused on related concerns, the European Impact study was set up to identify and recruit a male population harbouring germline mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. This group would then take part in targeted screening programmes for prostate cancer so as to support future research and clinical management of prostate cancer in high-risk individuals. The initiative aimed to set up networks spanning 23 countries, 18 in Europe.

The 'Advancing international co-operation and developing infrastructure for targeted screening of prostate cancer in men with genetic predisposition' (AIDIT) project was established to support and strengthen the mission, goals and activities of the Impact study. To achieve this, project partners took a comprehensive approach to stimulating cooperation with Associated Candidate Countries (ACCs) and New Member States (NMSs) so as to identify, enable and secure the participation of expert centres there.

Networking, connecting expertise and disseminating results from ongoing prostate cancer screening studies were deemed crucial to establishing a larger consortium and research base. Attendance at national and international gatherings, publications and project promotional activities succeeded in attracting new contacts as envisioned.

The design, development and launch of the Impact website constituted a major AIDIT project achievement. The website, which was translated into seven languages, provides a networking forum and information resource relevant to AIDIT and Impact collaborations. Providing a central information resource ensured that all centres already belonging to or considering joining the Impact study would have access to related information and documents. The general public is also allowed unrestricted access to information on prostate cancer, genetics and the Impact study itself.

A major project achievement was realised with AIDIT's organisation of an international conference, strengthened by input from an Impact steering committee. The conference brought together ACC and NMS experts eager to learn more about the potential for collaboration with Impact, thus realising AIDIT objectives.

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