The 2nd edition of the HealthTech World Cancer Day (HWCD20) took place this year on February 3 2020 in 5 European cities in France, Ireland, Israel, Portugal and Spain. These open events showcased the revolution brought by temerging health technologies in the fight against cancer, which is still a worldwide sourge. The event gathered:
+35 great expert speakers, specialists of new health technologies: researchers, clinicians, entrepreneurs, patient associations
+15 press articles, TV & radio reports
Cancer is still a worldwide scourge
Indeed, cancer is still the 2nd cause of mortality worldwide, and its incidence has been steadily increasing since 1980. The last Globocan study accounts for 18 million new cases and 9,5 million related deaths in 2018. More than 70% of all cancer deaths already occur in low and middle income countries and these regions are projected to account for two thirds of all cases of cancer worldwide by 2050. The number of cancer cases and related deaths worldwide is estimated to double over the next 20 to 40 years.
However, a very encouraging improvement in cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment has been brought by intense medical research and technology development during the last 20 years.
Technological progress brings about a medical revolution
All technologies with applications in the field of healthcare, i.e. biotech. nanomedicine, photonics, robotics, advanced materials and digital sciences are currently converging to accelerate the development of new devices that will revolution oncology:
- Earlier, more precise and less invasive diagnosis of cancer: early detection of tumor cells is a major challenge of modern oncology since it drastically improves the chance of survival and recovery of patients. The discovery of new biomarkers as well as of new non-invasive ways to detect cancer is then key. Notably, RUBYNanomed, a Portuguese startup company, is developing a device enabling liquid biopsy, tumour cells detection directly in the blood thanks to microfluidics. Preclinical studies have already been achieved. Currently, new projects are focusing on cancer detection in the breathe!
- More efficient and safer treatments of cancer. Surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy are currently the most common cancer treatment options. Depending on each individual patient’s profile of disease, they can be used either alone or in combination. New technologies already improve these therapeutic approaches and news products in development have the potential to do much more for patients in the coming years. Recently, NOBEL Partner Nanobiotix got CE approval for Hensify (TM), a nano radio-enhancer that dopes the efficiency of radiotherapy, for the treatment of soft tissue sarcoma, and currently under clinical trials for many solid tumors.
- Accelerated rehabilitation of cured patients, like allowing mammal reconstruction after breast cancer surgery thanks to Bio-absorbable implants designed with new advanced biomaterials and 3-D printing by Lattice Medical.
The scheme below illustrates the wide set of new technologies is currently in development, from hardware to software, helping to fight cancer.
This was only an overview of current HealthTech innovation introduced during #HWCD2020! The collective effort allowing researchers, entrepreneurs and practitioners to provide us with means of action against cancer has to thrive. In this fight, the NOBEL Project supports all of those actors by informing the public, by providing them with a common space to develop those multidisciplinary approaches and by accelerating innovation thank to our experts’ board, the HealthTech TAB.
HWCD local events:
The French edition of HWCD2020 in Villejuif at Sup’Biotech biotechnologies school was centered on innovative Start-ups. After a general introduction of Dr Alexandre Ceccaldi from the European Technological Platform on Nanomedicine (ETPN), 3 CEOs introduced their technologies and their companies: Allan Rodriguez from VitaDX develops a device coupling fluorescence and AI to detect bladder cancer, Mathieu Germain from Curadigm develops a nanoprimer improving the efficacy of cancer treatments and Julien Payen from Lattice Medical introduced MATTICE, a bioabsorbable tissue expansion matrix allowing breast reconstruction after mastectomy.
Tyndall National Institute hosted an open event showcasing exemples of recent progress as well as emerging HealthTech solutions in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The presentations and an interactive panel discussion allowed clinicians, industry, scientists, and patients to share their questions and perspectives.
In Tel Aviv University, 8 outstanding cancer researchers and clinicians gave talks which was taped and broadcasted live on the internet. Main topics included immuno-oncology and the possibility to act on the host metabolism to boost his natural immune response against cancer.
International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL) invited nationally recognized speakers from academia, start-up, patient association and the clinic, to introduce how intelligent health technologies are changing the fight against cancer.
This event took place at IDIBELL, one of the leading institutes on cancer research in Spain. After an introduction by the coordinator of Oncobell, the cancer research program of IDIBELL, speakers introduced a various panel of technologies that could matter to revolution cancer diagnosis and therapy, from nanomedicine to robotics.