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January 31, 2023

Every fourth resident of Liepāja should carefully monitor the health of their digestive tract

Publicity photo: Toms Grīnbergs, UL Communication department

The GISTAR study, conducted in Liepāja by the University of Latvia Institute of Clinical and Preventive Medicine (UL ICPM) and the Liepāja Regional Hospital proves that every fourth resident of the Liepāja region should carefully monitor the health of their digestive tract.

Of the 584 residents who have participated in the study so far, 119 have been diagnosed with H.pylori, a bacteria promoting development of stomach cancer. In such cases, research participants are prescribed eradication therapy for the mentioned bacteria. For those study participants who are found to have deviations from the norm in their blood or fecal samples, which has been the case in another 30 cases, additional examinations are prescribed - upper endoscopy or colonoscopy.

The statistics of cancer of the digestive system in Latvia, in Europe and throughout the world are increasing every year. Every fourth newly diagnosed cancer develops in the digestive tract. Gastrointestinal tumors are the third leading cause of cancer deaths. Colorectal (colon and rectal) cancer and stomach cancer are the most common tumors of the digestive system. About 1,100 people are diagnosed with colorectal cancer and 700 die from it in Latvia annually. Every year, 500 - 600 inhabitants of Latvia fall ill with stomach cancer, which, compared to the indicators of European Union countries, is one of the highest in relation to the number of inhabitants. Scientists involved in the GISTAR study remind that a  detection of malignant tumors allows for successful treatment, which also significantly increases the survival rate of the patients.

Also currently, the residents of Liepāja and the surrounding area between the ages of 40 and 64 are invited to check upon health of their digestive tract. Free health examinations are held in Liepāja, 23 Jūrmalas Street, every working day from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. More information about the the tests is available on the research website www.gistar.eu, application by phone - 25679868

The project is funded by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) 1.1.1.1. project ‘Practical Studies’, 4th phase, project ID Nr. 1.1.1.1/20/A/035 ‘Hybrid-sensor breath analysis for colorectal cancer screening’. The project is co–financed by REACT-EU to mitigate the effects of the pandemic crisis.

January 26, 2023

International Health Data Innovation Council begins work

After a preliminary preparatory phase, on January 25, 2023, the activity of an international Health Data Innovation Council was launched in the format of a virtual meeting. The council is an informal organization that brings together medical and data specialists, as well as lawyers and ethics experts.

Latvia is represented in the Council by Rolands Lappuķe, Smart Technology Adviser to the President of Latvia, and Mārcis Leja, director of the University of Latvia Institute of Clinical and Preventive Medicine (UL ICPM).

At the meeting, problematic issues in the areas of data exchange and secondary use were brought up. The participants decided to summarize the issues that hinder the development of research in different EU countries. The need for a data pilot project was widely discussed, highlighting the GAIA-X project led by Latvia as a positive example.

January 24, 2023

A scientific paper on identifying potential volatile biomarkers of gastric cancer has been published

© Photo: Book publishing photo created by Racool_studio - www.freepik.com

A new scientific paper on identifying potential volatile biomarkers of gastric cancer has been published in ‘Diagnostics’:

Identification of Key Volatile Organic Compounds Released by Gastric Tissues as Potential Non-Invasive Biomarkers for Gastric Cancer

Conclusions are that pyridine is found to be the most promising biomarker candidate for detecting gastric cancer. The difference in the volatilomic signatures can be explained by cancer-related changes in the activity of certain enzymes, or pathways. The results of this study confirm that the chemical fingerprint formed by volatiles in gastric tissue is altered by gastric cancer.

The paper was prepared by Pawel Mochalski, along with Daria Ślefarska-Wolak representing Jan Kochanowski University of Kielce Institute of Chemistry, and University of Innsbruck Insitute of Breath Research, Mārcis Leja, representing Digestive Diseases Centre GASTRO and, along with Linda Mežmale, Institute of Clinical and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Latvia and Riga East University Hospital. The publication was also prepared by Veronika Patsko of National Cancer Institute of Ukraine, Clemens Ager and Chris A. Mayhew, representing University of Innsbruck Insitute of Breath Research, Agnieszka Królicka from AGH University of Science and Technology Faculty of Materials Science and Ceramics Department of Building Materials Technology, and Gidi Shani and Hossam Haick from Technicon—Israel Institute of Technology Russel Berrie Nanotechnology Institute Department of Chemical Engineering.

The article is openly accessible on ‘Diagnostics’: https://www.mdpi.com/2075-4418/13/3/335

 

January 16, 2023

The international project AIDA will develop an AI diagnostic assistant to help detect lesions before gastric cancer

Publicity photo

On January 12- 13, in Valencia, Spain, an international, multicentre project to develop an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based diagnostic assistant to help researchers, doctors and patients understand, diagnose and treat chronic gastric inflammation, which often precedes gastric cancer started.

The project, called AIDA (An Artificially Intelligent Diagnostic Assistant for gastric inflammation), launched this January and held its kick-off meeting at INCLIVA, has a four-year duration and is supported by over 7 million euros between European and British funding.

The project is coordinated by INCLIVA Biomedical Research Institute. The project consortium comprises 15 centres of excellence from eight European countries, including the Latvian University Institute of Clinical and Preventive Medicine. The consortium brings together a multidisciplinary team including some of the leading European authorities on gastric inflammation and cancer (areas of epidemiology, immunology, oncology, pathology and gastroenterology), experts in bioinformatics, artificial intelligence and machine learning and in data governance and privacy, representatives of the public administration and patient advocates.

Gastric cancer is the fifth most common cancer type and the third leading cause of cancer death in the world in both sexes. It affects almost one million people, and to date no strategy has improved the prognosis of the disease. It causes 783,000 deaths a year, and the survival rate for patients at an advanced stage is only about 12 months.

Despite current multimodal treatments including surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy to improve loco-regional control and reduce the rate of tumour dissemination, progress is still limited, and more action is needed in primary and secondary prevention.

Most cases of gastric cancer are detected at late stage, so diagnosing those at risk of developing gastric cancer in the presymptomatic stage could significantly improve their prognosis. A wealth of data is available on the risk factors for developing gastric cancer. Individually, none are supported by robust evidence, but combining and correlating them will provide a much clearer picture.

AIDA: an assistant to guide strategies for gastric cancer prevention

The AIDA project goal is to create an AI-powered tool to help clinicians diagnose precancerous inflammation, provide personalized medical follow-up, recommend action to monitor patients’ health status, and select treatment. AIDA will pool together data from different sectors, including research and innovation centres, clinical partners, industry and patients, while adhering to European data protection law.

AIDA is one of 13 European projects to obtain funding through the Horizon Europe program in the HORIZON-HLTH-2022-STAYHLTH-02-01 call for proposals, having been selected from among the 72 proposals submitted within the health cluster. Horizon Europe is the largest research and innovation program in the European Union and carries out a thorough evaluation of all submitted proposals before granting funds.

 

Funded by the European Union (grant number 101095359) and supported by the UK Research and Innovation (grant number 10058099). Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

 

January 11, 2023

The International Scientific Conference on Medicine accepts the abstracts until 22nd January

Following a request of participants, the 81st International Scientific Conference on Medicine will accept the abstarst up until 22nd January 2023.

The International Scientific Conference on Medicine is the largest section of the UL conference and will be held online on 24-25 March 2023. The event will cover a variety of disciplines in clinical and research medicine, pharmacy, nursing and public health.

Abstracts are welcome from both seasoned and young researchers (also students). In the spirit to foster international collaboration, participation is free of charge.

Find out more and submit the abstracts on: conferences.lu.lv/e/medicine2023

December 23, 2022

Warm Season's Greetings and a Happy New Year from the UL ICPM!

 

December 14, 2022

UL ICPM takes part in the networking event of the Riga Stradiņš University project

Publicity photo

On December 13, the deputy director of the UL ICPM Ilmārs Stonāns represented the institute in the university – industry brokerage event of the Riga Stradiņš University project “Consolidating the capacities of EATRIS-ERIC for Personalised Medicine (EATRIS-PLUS)” where the industry members got to know more on the opportunities to integrate research of personalized medicine. Within the framework of the event, I. Stonāns presented the institute's experience so far in cooperation with academic and industry partners, as well as outlined the opportunities for future cooperation. During the meeting, the growing role of the state in ensuring effective cooperation between academic and industrial partners in solving the tasks of personalized medicine was recognized.

The project aims to support the long-term sustainability (LTS) of EATRIS by delivering innovative scientific tools to the research community, strengthening the infrastructure’s financial model and reinforcing EATRIS leadership in the European Research Area (ERA), particularly in the field of Personalised Medicine (PM) research and development. The event gathered representatives of the EATRIS, the Scientific Director Dr. Toni Andreu, and Scientific & SME Outreach Manager Sara Zullino, as well as the representatives of RSU Institute of Microbiology and Virology, Latvian Alliance of Rare Diseases, Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis, Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Centre as well as RSU Institute of Oncology. The presentations were followed by a round-table discussion on how industry can integrate research of personalized medicine and visitations to the RSU Institute of Microbiology and Virology, RSU Institute for Occupational Safety and Environmental Health and RSU Laboratory of Hygiene and Occupational Diseases.

EATRIS-Plus will help pooling and exploiting the translational academic capacities of the infrastructure in omics technologies to enable researchers to better address the scientific and societal challenges of Personalised Medicine. A key output of the project will be the piloting and delivery of a multi-omic toolbox, that will include SOPs, guidelines for best practices, reference materials, quality parameters, analysis tools, criteria for establishing reference values, and will provide access to a repository of multi-omic data.  Additionally, the coordination office and 13 existing national nodes of the infrastructure will participate in implementing joint outreach, training, industry engagement and international collaboration activities to further build national capacity, increase users’ trust and strengthen EATRIS and the ERA global scientific leadership in the areas of translational research and Personalised Medicine.

The project is implemented by 19 European partnering organisations and is set to be concluded by the end of 2023. More about the project: https://www.rsu.lv/en/project/consolidating-capacities-eatris-eric-personalised-medicine-eatris-plus

 

December 5, 2022

A new scientific paper on serological biomarker diagnostic value of autoimmune gastritis has been published in ‘Diagnostics’

© Photo: Book publishing photo created by Racool_studio - www.freepik.com

A new scientific paper on serological biomarker (anti-parietal cell antibodies and anti-intrinsic factor antibodies) value in non invasive diagnostics of autoimmune gastritis has been published in the Open Access Journal from MDPI ‘Diagnostics’:

The diagnostic value of anti-parietal cell and intrinsic factor antibodies, pepsinogens, and gastrin-17 in corpus restricted atrophic gastritis

The study suggests that the best combination of non-invasive biomarkers for detecting autoimmune gastritis is the combination of pepsinogen I/II ratio and anti- parietal cell antibodies. Autoimmune gastritis is localized in corpus part and is linked to increased gastric cancer risk.

The authors of the publication are the Pauls Stradiņš Clinical University Hospital’s internist, immunologist Petra Kriķe, the article was prepared under the guidance of UL professor, gastroenterologist, UL ICPM director Mārcis Leja, among the authors are UL ICPM researchers Inese Poļaka, Daiga Šantare, Lilian Tzivian, as well as GASTRO representatives Ilze ķikuste, Ivars Tolmanis, Aigars Vanags, and Sergej Isajevs from the Academic Histology Laboratory, Inta Liepniece-Karele from the Rīga Stradiņš University Department of Pathology, Dace Rudzīte from Riga East Clinical University Hospital, together with employees of the National Cancer Institute (USA) Minkyo Song, M. Constanza Camargo and Gary L Norman and Zakera Shums from the USA laboratory diagnostics company ‘Werfen’.

The study was conducted using the material collected by the Digestive Diseases Center GASTRO and developed in cooperation with the Digestive Diseases Center GASTRO, Academic Histology Laboratory, laboratory examinations were performed with the support of the diagnostic companies ‘Werfen’ (USA) and ‘Biohit’ (Finland).

The article is openly accessible on ‘Diagnostics’: https://www.mdpi.com/2075-4418/12/11/2784

 

November 28, 2022

PERSIST webinar on the technical solutions

Project PERSIST is announcing a public final technical webinar online on the 1st of December at 15.00 – 16:00 CET. The PERSIST H2020 consortium will represent its approach and solution to support cancer survivors and how AI and digital decision support system can contribute to more personalized and patient-centered care.

During the webinar the participants will be able to observe:

•          Demonstration of the mHelath app of PERSIST, including questionnaire, CTCs, diary recording functionality and extraction of signs of depression and symptoms from diaries;

•          Demonstration of the disease centric discourse functionality and alert system;

•          Value of the collected data and trajectories for the care plans;

•          Clinical Decision Support System, mClinician app.

The webinar will take place on MS Teams: https://bit.ly/3Xn7q23

In order to participate, we kindly ask you to register: https://forms.gle/HdJ8UHyhMPwgcpfR7

Read more on: https://projectpersist.com 

Persist website

This project has received funding from the European Union’s “Horizon 2020” research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 875406

 

November 25, 2022

Kick-off meeting of the new European project EUROHELICAN

Publicity photo: EUROHELICAN working group meeting in Ljubljana, Slovenia

From november 17 to 18, in Ljubljana, Slovenia, the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) organized the “Kick-off” meeting of the new European project EUROHELICAN – Accelerating gastric cancer reduction in Europe through Helicobacter pylori eradication. The general objective of the EUROHELICAN project is to assess the feasibility of population-based Helicobacter pylori test- and treat strategy for gastric cancer prevention in Europe. In the EUROHELICAN project, co-financed by the European Union, beside the NIJZ, participate the University of Latvia Institute of Clinical and Preventive Medicine, Community Healthcare Center dr. Adolf Drolc Maribor, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization, and Nantes University Hospital. The project will last from 1 November 2022 to 30 April 2025. 

Gastric cancer, with more than 1 million new cases and almost 800,000 deaths worldwide in 2020, is the fifth most frequently diagnosed cancer type and the fourth most common cause of cancer death worldwide. In Europe, gastric cancer is still an important public health issue, with the regions of Central and Eastern Europe having the highest gastric cancer incidence worldwide, second to Eastern Asia. In Europe, gastric cancer has a poor prognosis with 5-year relative survival rate between 19-30 %. Despite the recent therapeutic progress, the 5-year overall survival has not been significantly improved for the last decades in most of the European countries.

Infection with the Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) means a high risk of developing stomach cancer. Given its absolute burden and the significant prevalence of treatable H. pylori infection worldwide, the best way to reduce gastric cancer mortality is through preventive action. Therefore, pilot population testing and treatment of H. pylori is proposed as a strategy for the prevention of stomach cancer within the framework of the EUROHELICAN project, which would significantly prevent the loss of lives or the quality of life due to this malignant disease.

By treating the infection, we would prevent and eliminate other gastroenterological problems: stomach and duodenal ulcer, gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining), dyspepsia (feeling of fullness, bloating, burning pain, fainting, nausea), iron deficiency anemia, MALT lymphoma, vitamin deficiency B12, autoimmune disease idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura.

The results from this project will aide policy makers incorporate the population-based H. pylori test- and treat strategy into their healthcare priorities for gastric cancer prevention while balancing its effectiveness, feasibility and acceptability with long-term potential adverse effects.

At the kickoff meeting, all project partners spoke constructively about the project's main goals, work packages, individual activities, and precisely determined the cooperation procedures for the successful implementation of the project.

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HADEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

 

November 15, 2022

On 15th November, the University of Latvia Institute of Clinical and Preventive Medicine is celebrating the 6th anniversary!

We are sending the warmest greetings to the colleagues of the institute, the University of Latvia and our partners!

November 10, 2022

UL ICPM researchers start work on the project FAMILY, supported by the Horizon programme

On November 2- 4, researchers Signe Mežinska and Ivars Neiders of the UL ICPM represented the UL in the kick-off meeting of the FAMILY project. The meeting took place in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Within the five years of project implementation, the aim of the FAMILY Consortium is to improve the life of mentally-ill persons with novel prediction models that are based on better understanding the mechanisms of intergenerational transmission of mental illness and resilience. The project involves 16 partner institutions including the leading European neuroscience and genetics research centers.

Photo: from personal archive

The leading researcher of the UL ICPM Signe Mežinska will lead one of the project’s work packages which aims to analyze the ethical and social problems related to risk of inheriting mental illness and development of such risks’ prediction models. One of the project tasks is also to promote the public's understanding of mental illness inherited in family, as well as to communicate the results of the scientific research to patients, their families and mental health care professionals.

More information can be found on the project’s website: https://family-project.eu/

#HorizonEU #FAMILY_EU

This project has received funding from the Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No 101057529

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Research Executive Agency (REA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

 

November 9, 2022

The director of the UL ICPM participates in the conclusion of the worldwide scientific initiative in Venice

The final face-to-face meeting of the RE.GA.IN (Real-world Gastris Initiative) project takes place from November 7 to 10 in Venice, Italy.

The scientific initiative aims to gather the interdisciplinary knowledge on gastritis and gastritis-related gastric malignancies. From May to November 2022, 35 leading international experts in the field from all continents have been involved in this initiative, including the director of UL IPM Mārcis Leja. In this period of time, the experts have had multiple meetings in virtual mode for the critical evaluation of the available scientific evidence and for the necessary insights. The meeting in Venice concludes the initiative by summarizing the conclusions of these meetings.

 

Photos: from personal archive. The organizer of the initiative, professor Massimo Rugge

The cancer epidemiologist Maria Constanza Camargo, representing the National Cancer Institute (USA), reported the role of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in the pathogenesis of gastritis and gastic cancer. The reserach has been developed with the Candidate of Sciences, chemoterapist Evita Gašenko (Latvia).

Photos: from personal archive. NCI representative, cancer epidemiologist Maria Constanza Camargo

 

October 31, 2022

GISTAR study presented at an informative seminar to general practicioners

On October 28, an informative seminar was held for general practitioners in Liepāja and South Kurzeme. It was organized by the Environment, Health and Public Participation Department of the Liepāja City Municipality Administration.

As part of the event, the director of the UL ICPM, gastroenterologist and UL professor Mārcis Leja gave a lecture on different approaches to reducing stomach cancer mortality and the European perspective on these issues. In addition to these aspects, the professor informed the general practitioners about the GISTAR study, which is currently taking place in Liepāja, and invited them to get involved in its implementation by informing their patients about the opportunities to take part in the study.

Photos: from personal archive

Liepāja Sports Health Center's offer was presented by Artis Lagzdiņš, the manager of the LOC Olympic Centre. Anita Zolmane, head of the Kurzeme branch of the National Health Service, presented the current affairs of the NHS.

The project is funded by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) 1.1.1.1. project ‘Practical Studies’, 4th phase, project ID Nr. 1.1.1.1/20/A/035 ‘Hybrid-sensor breath analysis for colorectal cancer screening’.

 

October 31, 2022

VOGAS project partners share their thoughts on the main challenges

The aim of the VOGAS project has been to carry out the clinical approbation of the latest generation stationary breath analyzer for the early diagnosis of cancer and to clarify the sources of volatile markers. Using the latest generation stationary breath analyzer for determination of volatile markers, the project participants performed breath analyzes in clinical settings, evaluating the device’s usability and accuracy, as well as perfecting this non-invasive cancer detection method.

VOGAS partners share their thoughts on the main challenges faced during the last 3 years. From unforeseen challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine to predicted risks as technical and logistical issues – the interviews are available on the project website www.vogas.eu

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 824986

 

October 24, 2022

Project PERSIST - a special event has been held and partners meet to discuss the progress of the final phase of the clinical trial

From October 19 to 23, the partners of the project PERSIST ("Patients-centered SurvivorShip care plan after Cancer treatments based on Big Data and Artificial Intelligence technologies") met in Maribor, Slovenia. The UL ICPM was represented by researcher Dina Bēma and assistant scientific manager of the project Linda Tupiņa. During the meeting, the partners shared their experience and knowledge and discussed the progress of the final phase of the clinical trial and the tasks to be performed.

On October 13, as part of Cancer Awareness Month, a special event took place in the European Parliament building in person and online - "PERSISTent to fight cancer, whatever I.T. takes”.

The event’s participants got to know more on the the impact of PERSIST for patients, medical specialists and caregivers, what specific types of data PERSIST collects with the help of mHealth and mClinician apps used in the project and how these can increase the Quality-of-Life of Cancer Survivors, and the Cancer Survivorship – AI for Well-being (CS_AIW) Cluster was also presented. After that, a panel on Reflections on the digitalization in Europe, in light of the Cancer awareness month took place.

The recording of the event is available online.

The project PERSIST aims to show the potential of big data technology for making fundamental changes in care delivery for cancer survivors through security of health data, Artificial intelligence and Big Data, improved health care and new scientific research. The study is international and its clinical part with the inclusion of patients in Latvia, Belgium, Slovenia and Spain.

Persist website

This project has received funding from the European Union’s “Horizon 2020” research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 875406

 

October 19, 2022

As part of the project proposed by the UL ICPM, European experts are working on raising quality of cancer care in Latvia

Publicity photo

On October 17 and 18, representatives of the Organization of European Cancer Institutes (OECI) met at the Riga Eastern Clinical University Hospital to conduct an expertise and provide recommendations for Latvia's progress towards a comprehensive cancer center and a comprehensive cancer care network - that would facilitate equal access to healthcare for cancer patients in Latvia.

The meeting took place within the framework of the project "Improving cancer care coordination and screening in Latvia and Slovakia, ICCCS" that is financed by the European Commission's (EC) Technical Assistance Instrument (DG REFORM). In Latvia, the project implementation was initiated by UL ICPM.

As the project experts, representatives of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the Organization of European Cancer Institutes (OECI) and the ERASMUS University Medical Center (EMC) are involved.

Publicity photo

The project aims to contribute to the reduction of cancer mortality by improving cancer registration in the population, establishing and achieving the accreditation of a comprehensive cancer care and research infrastructure / networks, as well as improving breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening programs thus providing equally high-quality and equally accessible cancer care for all patients throughout Latvia.

"In recent years, the fight against cancer has been a priority of the entire European Union, and this year, the Latvian government also approved the plan for the improvement of healthcare services in the field of oncology for 2022-2024. It foresees a series of improvements that will require national funding, and currently we have the highest level of experts to help us," the importance of the project is characterized by Mārcis Leja, the former expert of the European Commission’s Cancer Mission, Professor at the University of Latvia and the director of UL ICPM.

"Improving cancer registration in Latvia is one of the top priorities – as otherwise we cannot know what exact measures should be taken for further cancer care improvements. It also concerns the cancer screening. I am pleased that these matters can be dealt with the help from institutions with the highest of competence in monitoring and collecting data all over the world,” M. Leja adds.

Professor Simon Oberst and Professor Mef Nilbert attended the face-to-face visit, and other experts from OECI and IARC participated remotely.

On October 17, the experts met with representatives of the board and management of the Riga Eastern Clinical University Hospital discussing the current achievements and emphasizing the issues for further resolving. On the second day of the visit, several seminars with discussions were held - on molecular diagnosis of tumors, clinical research in oncology, radiation therapy, as well as on palliative and hospice care of oncological patients.

Publicity photo

October 19, 2022

Post-doctorate of the UL ICPM has taken part in mobility to Germany

Photo: from personal archive

From September 19 to October 15, the leading researcher at KPMI Manohar Prasad Bhandari took part in mobility at JLM Innovation GmbH (https://www.jlm-innovation.de/). His secondment at JLM Innovation GmbH was implemented within the framework of his postdoctoral research project "Study of relation between gastric microbiota and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) for the early detection of gastric cancer". First part of the mobility from September 19 to October 1 was carried out remotely. From October 2 to October 15, the researcher worked on site in Tübingen, Germany.

JLM Innovation is a research-based technology company that develops hardware and software for data acquisition as well as data analysis tools in the field of chemical gas sensors. It has been part of many international projects in the field of chemical sensing and electronic noses. The expertise of JLM Innovation with specialists from medical and biochemical fields have yielded important results and technology for the advancement of medical research. JLM Innovation has been cooperating with KPMI within different EU-funded projects including H2020 VOGAS project that aims at developing a non-invasive gastric cancer screening tool by detecting characteristic panels of VOCs. The postdoctoral project is in synergy the VOGAS project and thus allowing a close cooperation with VOGAS partners including JLM Innovation.

During the mobility, the leading researcher gained knowledge in the data analysis techniques related to VOGAS hybrid eNose sensor readings under the supervision of experts Dr. Marta Padilla (research director at JLM) and Dr. Jan Mitrovics (CEO, JLM). The eNose instrument is being used for the collection and analysis of exhaled breath samples from gastric cancer patients in relation to WP3 “Impact of Helicobacter pylori on eNose readings” of the postdoctoral project.

Photo: from personal archive

Using the Python programming codes developed by JLM Innovation, the leading researcher learned the required steps of sensors data analysis, including pre-processing, filtering, down-sampling, and decreasing the correlation with environmental variables. The acquired knowledge of data analysis will be applied to analyse the eNose data obtained from WP3 of the project resulting in a research article. For this, the impact of H. pylori, dietary, and other confounding factors on eNose sensor readings will be considered. This also includes statistical data analysis in H. pylori positive and negative groups, taken that this is potent bacteria that change the overall environment of the stomach. 

Manohar Prasad Bhandari’s postdoctoral project goal is to investigate the effects of volatile compounds, microbial changes, and exhaled markers on gastric microbiome for an early diagnosis of gastric cancer.

Program "Growth and Jobs" 1.1.1. Specific support objective “Increase the research and innovation capacity of Latvian scientific institutions and the ability to attract external funding by investing in human resources and infrastructure” 1.1.1.2. ERDF project No. of the measure “Support for postdoctoral research” 1.1.1.2/VIAA/3/19/495 "Study of the relation between gastric microbiota and VOCs for the early detection of gastric cancer"

October 18, 2022

In Vienna, a meeting of the International Healthy Stomach Initiative took place

In the first half of October, after a break of several years, a meeting of the International Healthy Stomach Initiative took place in Vienna, Austria. The goal of this initiative, founded by international medical professionals, is to raise awareness of other health professionals and the wider public to stomach health and the prevention of related illnesses. More information about the International Healthy Stomach Initiative is available on its website http://www.hsinitiative.org/

During the meeting, the UL ICPM was represented by its director Mārcis Leja. Those present got to find out about the process of adopting the latest European guidelines, and representatives of Slovenia announced the signing of an agreement with the European Commission, that starts the implementation of a new project - EUROHELICAN. It aims to develop guidelines and recommendations to help create, improve and implement a population-based H.pylori screening and treatment program in Europe. Along with partners - National Institute of Public Health of Slovenia, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC, France)and Nantes University Hospital Center (France) – the project will be implemented also by the University of Latvia Institute of Clinical and Preventive Medicine.

The project will be implemented with the support from the EU4Health propgram. 

Photo: from personal archive

October 13, 2022

Results of the HYCOR project were presented at the UEGWEEK 2022

From October 8 to 11, the senior laboratory technician of the HYCOR project and resident doctor Linda Anarkulova took part in the United European Gastroenterology Week 2022 – UEGWEEK 2022 in Vienna, Austria. For taking part in the event, she had received the UEG National Scholar Award. This award is given to the promising investigators at a junior level by awarding the highest scoring abstracts pre country.

At the congress, L. Anarkulova presented the poster presentation "Application of modular multi-sensor VOC analyzer for non-invasive detection of colorectal cancer" that is based in the project HYCOR results. The poster presentation was on the screening of colorectal cancer with a breath analysis, based on the detection of volatile organic compounds in the breath using a sensor breath analyzer. The aim of the study was to differentiate between colorectal cancer patients and individuals without cancer. Participants in these two groups – colorectal cancer patients and a control group - performed a breath test in a sensor breath analyzer. The obtained results showed that the sensor breath analyzer is able to distinguish between colorectal cancer patients and control group study participants. The study will be continued to build and evaluate more specific detection models in larger patient groups.

Photo: Linda Anarkulova. From personal archive

The project is funded by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) 1.1.1.1. project ‘Practical Studies’, 4th phase, project ID Nr. 1.1.1.1/20/A/035 ‘Hybrid-sensor breath analysis for colorectal cancer screening’.

October 12, 2022

The final meeting of partners of the VOGAS project has taken place in Georgia

From September 27 to 30, the final consortium meeting of the VOGAS project took place in Georgia. The meeting gathered project partners from Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Uppsala (Sweden), Ulm (Germany), Innsbruck (Austria), Pamplona (Colombia) and Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (Chile) universities as well as representatives of San Ignacio University Hospital (University Hospital San Ignacio, Colombia), JLM Innovation (Germany), A.C. Camargo Cancer Center (Brazil), National Cancer Institute MPH of Ukraine, VTT Technical Research Center of Finland, the National Cancer Institute (USA), as well as the University of Latvia Institute of Clinical and Preventive Medicine.

In course of its implementation, the aim of the VOGAS project has been to carry out the clinical approbation of the latest generation stationary breath analyzer for the early diagnosis of cancer and to clarify the sources of volatile markers. Using the latest generation stationary breath analyzer for determination of volatile markers, the project participants performed breath analyzes in clinical settings, evaluating the device's usability and accuracy, as well as perfecting this non-invasive cancer detection method.

During the meeting, partners discussed the accomplishments during the course of the project implementation period, mainly focusing on operation of the equipment and its improvement and application possibilities, as well as the results of the clinical study and the discovered biomarkers. Several publications are currently being developed on the main results.

With this meeting, the VOGAS project has officially been concluded, however, the established cooperation continues. The partners met with the President of the Georgian Society of Clinical Oncology Rema Gvamichava and discussed possible cooperation in future projects involving the general public, clinics and organizations involved in cancer screening. Cooperation between other partners of the VOGAS project will also continue, implementing other Horizon Europe projects.

Photo: from personal archive

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 824986

October 9, 2022

On October 13, UL ICPM and PERSIST partners are inviting to a hybrid event

On October 13, 2022, UL ICPM and partners implementing the international innovation project PERSIST are inviting to a hybrid (online and in person) event ‘PERSISTent to fight cancer, whatever I.T. takes’.

The project PERSIST aims to show the potential of big data technology for making fundamental changes in care delivery for cancer survivors through security of health data, Artificial intelligence and Big Data, improved health care and new scientific research.

During the event, the project implementers will aim to assess the development of innovation in the health and care sector, in terms of research and technological advancement in the future, as well as exploitation of the new and innovative technologies and how they will be used in practice. The event will also raise awareness and improve the understanding among stakeholders on the key benefits from project PERSIST and other projects alike. Those present will get to know how the PERSIST mHealth app is applied and addresses people in need and tries to address the unmet medical needs, in context of digitalization. PERSIST implementors will encourage long-term commitment and engagement of policymakers and stakeholders on supporting and further developing projects as PERSIST and will highlight what are the concrete patient benefits and how PERSIST is making fundamental changes in care delivery for cancer survivors.

Working language of the event – English.

More information about the event ‘PERSISTent to fight cancer, whatever I.T. takes’ is available on the project page.

To register for participation in the hybrid event please fill out the registration form.

Persist website

This project has received funding from the European Union’s “Horizon 2020” research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 875406

September 23, 2022

ICCCS project screening group experts have visited Latvia

From September 19 to 21, screening group experts of the project "Improving Cancer Care Coordination and Screening in Latvia and Slovakia” (ICCCS) visited Latvia to meet the involved parties – the Latvian Ministry of Health, hospitals’, institutes’ and other institutions’ representatives.

During the meetings, the project experts got to know the work of Latvian health specialists and the current practices in the field of cancer screening. In course of the project, the experts will prepare recommendations for improving the cancer screening processes. The project is by the European Commission's (EC) Technical Assistance Instrument (DG REFORM) and is in line with the European Commission’s Cancer Mission. It aims to contribute to the reduction of cancer mortality, improve cancer registration in the population, establish and achieve the accreditation of a comprehensive cancer care and research infrastructure / networks, as well as improve breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening programs. The implementation of the project in Latvia takes place by the initiative of UL ICPM.

Photos: from personal archive. The ICCCS experts Nadya Dimitrova (International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)) and Iris Lansdorp – Vogelaar (Erasmus MC Rotterdam Department of Public Health) are meeting the representatives of the Latvian parties.

Meeting with the director of the Research and Health Statistics Department of The Centre for Disease Prevention and Control of Latvia Jana Lepiksone

Meeting with the Family Doctor Javgēnijs Bondins at the Family Practice Center „Alma”

Meeting with the representatives of the „Centrālā Laboratorija” („Central Laboratory”), member of the board Edvīns Kāzušs, head of the Department of Molecular Biology Marta Priedīte, and laboratory specialist Beatrise Orlova

Meeting with Pauls Stradiņš Clinical University Hospital’s Gastroenterologist Eduards Krustiņš

Meeting with Pauls Stradiņš Clinical University Hospital’s Breast Surgeon Arvīds Irmejs

Meeting with „Datamed” Member of the Board Normunds Ančupāns

Meeting with the Member of Board and the Chief physician of the Gastroenterology Clinic „Gastro” Ivars Tolmanis

Meeting with the Radiologist of the Riga East Clinical University Hospital Evija Asare

Meeting with the Head of the Riga East Clinical University Hospital Pathology Centre Aija Balode

September 22, 2022

The first face-to-face meeting of the project Pragma-TIC partners has been held in Riga

From September 19 to 20, the first meeting of the project Pragma-TIC partners has been held in University of Latvia, Riga. The project is implemented with the financial support of the Europan Union program Erasmus +, and its goal is to promote digital support for European hospital patients and their primary caregivers.

The project tasks envisage increasing the digital skills of health specialists and their patients, resulting in creation of a practically applicable e-learning platform prototype. In future, it would facilitate the work of medical workers as well as promote patients' independence and the ability to manage their healthcare remotely, if necessary. The said digital training prototype will be created through mutual cooperation between medical staff and patients.

The project is implemented by the University of Latvia Institute of Clinical and Preventive Medicine, the Central Hospital of Liège (the leading partner of the project) and the information and communication technology company "Inforef" in Belgium, the University Medical Center Maribor in Slovenia, as well as Centre for Digital Psychiatry
Mental Health Services in the Region of Southern Denmark.

During the meeting in Riga, the working group discussed the progress of the project implementation, the time schedule, research questions, mechanisms for attracting participants, the development of the communication plan, and the structure and usage of the project’s platform www.pragma-tic.eu

Further on, Pragma-TIC working group meetings will take place once a month online, and the next meeting in person is planned to be held next year in Slovenia.

Photos: from personal archive. Meeting of the Pragma-TIC working group in Riga.

The project Pragma-TIC "Digital Health Literacy for the Hospital of the Future” (grant No. 21PCA0019 / 2021-1-BE01-KA220-ADU-000033677) is funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.

September 15, 2022

A poster presentation on the results of the HYCOR project, implemented by UL ICPM, is to be given at the UEGWEEK 2022

The poster presentation "Application of modular multi-sensor VOC analyzer for non-invasive detection of colorectal cancer", prepared by the resident doctor Linda Anarkulova - the senior laboratory technician of the HYCOR project -, has been approved for presentation at the congress at the United European Gastroenterology Week 2022, taking place from 2022 from October 8 to October 11, 2022 in Austria, Vienna. It can be visited both in person and remotely online. Please find out more information on the event’s website

L. Anarkulova's report is on the screening of colorectal cancer - one of the most common and deadliest tumors. In order to reduce the mortality caused by colorectal cancer, it is necessary to implement an effective screening method. Such a method could be breath analysis, which is based on the detection of volatile organic compounds in the breath using a sensor breath analyzer. The aim of the study was to differentiate between colorectal cancer patients and individuals without cancer, and included two study groups: colorectal cancer patients and a control group. Participants in these two groups performed a breath test in a sensor breath analyzer. The obtained results showed that the sensor breath analyzer is able to distinguish between colorectal cancer patients and control group study participants. 

The project is funded by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) 1.1.1.1. project "Practical Studies", 4th phase, project ID Nr. 1.1.1.1/20/A/035 "Hybrid-sensor breath analysis for colorectal cancer screening" 

September 9, 2022

UL ICPM is widely represented at the XXXV EHMSG Workshop

On September 8 - 10, the XXXVth Workshop of the European Helicobacter and Microbiota Study Group - EHMSG 2022 is taking place in Glasgow, Scotland.

Several representatives of the Institute of Clinical and Preventive Medicine are present to represent reports on their researches, and the abstaracts are published on the official journal of the EHMSG, "Micribiota in Health and Disease" (https://www.microbiotajournal.com/):

  • D. Razuka – Ebela, I. Polaka, I. Ebela, I. Daugule, R. Herrero, M. Leja:

„Reflux Espohagitis associated with false negative cases in pepsinogen testing for precancerous gastric lesions”

 

  • D. Slefarska-Wolak, R. Vangravs, M. Leja, L. Mezmale, G. Shani, C. Mayhew, H. Haick, P. Mochalski:

„The volatomic signature of Helicobacter pylori”

 

  • J.M. Huguet, L. Ferrer-Barcelo, P. Suarez, B. Tepes, D. Bordin, M. Leja, G. Babayeva, F. Lerang, A. Tonkic, H. Simsek, L. Kunovsky, A. Gasbarrini, G. M. Buzas, P. Phull, M. Venerito, I. Puig, O.P. Nyssen, F. Megraud, C. O’Morain, J.P. Gisbert, on behalf of the HP-Eureg investigators:

„Role of complience in Helicobacter Pylori treatments: results from the European registry on H.pylori management (HP-Eureg)”

 

  • L. Bujanda, O. Perez-Nyssen, J. Ramos, D.S. Bordyn, B. Tepes, A. Perez-Aisa, D. Vaira, M. Caldas, M. Castro-Fernandez, F. Leran, M. Leja, L. Rodrigo, T. Rokkas, L. Kupcinskas, J. Perez-Lasala, I. Puig, F. Megraud, C. O’Morain, J. Perez-Gisbert, on behalf of the HP-Eureg investigators:

„Effectiveness of treatments against Helicobacter Pylori according to clarithromycin: Data from the European registry on helicobacter pylori management (HP-Ereg)"

 

  • L. Fernandez-Salazar, A. Perez-Aisa, D. Vaira, L. Jonaitis, B. Tepes, D. Bordin, A. Keco-Huerga, A. Lucendo, L. Vologzhanina, L. Bujanda, N. Brglez Jurecic, A. Lanas, M. Leja, G. Babayeva, T. Rokkas, I. Puig, O.P. Nyssen, F. Megraud, C. O’Morain, J.P. Gisbert, on behalf of the HP-Eureg investigators:

„Effectiveness and safety of high-dose dual therapy: Results of the European registry on the management of Helicobacter Pylori infection (HP-Eureg)”

 

  • M. Zaharova, E. Zelca, D. Gudra, D. Fridmanis, I. Daugule:

„Changes in gut microbiota after antibacterial therapy among childre: Prelimenary data”

 

  • O. Sjomina, R. Vangravs, A. Rudule, I. Polaka, S. Parsutins, D. Pupola, I. Stonans, M. Leja:

„The comparison of standard triple therapy effectiveness after addition of Saccharomyces boulardii”

 

  • O.P. Nyssen, A. Perez-Aisa, D. Vaira, L. Jonaitis, B. Tepes, D. Bordin, A. Keco-Huerga, A. Lucendo, L. Vologzhanina, L. Bujanda, N. Brglez Jurecic, A. Lanas, M. Leja, G. Babayeva, F. Larang, L. Moreira, I. Puig, F. Megraud, C. O’Morain, J.P. Gisbert, on behalf of the HP-Eureg investigators:

„Epmirical first-line treatment use and effectiveness trends in Europe in the period 2013 – 2021: Results from the European registry on H.pylori management (HP-Eureg)”

 

  • P. Jonaitis, J. Kupcinskas, A. Perez-Aisa, D, Vaira, B. Tepes, D. Bordin, L. Bujanda, M. Denkovski, A. Lanas, M. Leja, G. Babayeva, F. Lerang, A. Tonkic, O.P. Nyssen, L. Moreira, I. Puig, F. Megraud, C. O’Morain, J.P. Gisbert, L. Jonaitis, on behalf of the HP-Eureg investigators:

„Differences of Helicobacter Pylori diagnostics and treatment in the elderly and non-elderly populations: data from European registry on H.pylori management (HP-Eureg)”

 

  • P. Jonaitis, J. Kupcinskas, A. Perez-Aisa, D. Vaira, B. Tepes, D. Bordin, L. Bujanda, M. Denkovski, A. Lanas, M. Leja, G. Babayeva, F. Lerang, A. Tonkic, O.P. Nyssen, L. Moreira, I. Puig, F. Megraud, C. O’Morain, J.P. Gisbert, L. Jonaitis, on behalf of the HP-Eureg investigators:

„Comparison of the effectiveness of Helicobacter Pylori eradication regiments between the eldrely and non-eldrely populations: data from the European registy of H.Pylori management (HP-Eureg)”

 

  • S. Martinez – Domingues, E. Alfaro, P. Sarrera – Lasfuentes, A. Lanas, A. Perez – Ainsa, D. Vaira, L. Jonaitis, B. Tepes, D. Bordin, M. Castro – Fernandez, A. Lucendo, M. Leja, G. Babayeva, F. Lerang, L. Moreira, I. Puig, O.P. Nyssen, F. Megraud, C. O’Morain, J.P. Gisbert, on behalf of the HP-Eureg inverstigator:

„Mistakes in empirical eradication therapies for helicobacter pylori in 45,778 patients: Data from the European registry on H.Pylori management (HP-Eureg)”

 

Read more about the event on https://www.ehmsg.org/

© Photos: From personal archive. The president of the EHMSG 2022 is opening the event

August 29, 2022

With a meeting in Israel, the VOGAS project has entered the finalization stage

From 21st to 24th August, a face-to-face meeting of partners of the VOGAS ("Screening of Gastric Cancer via Breath volatile organic compounds by Hybrid Sensing Approach") project took place in Israel, Haifa.

While the meeting, the administrative manager of the project Liat Zuri and the leading expert of the University of Latvia Institute of Clinical and Preventive Medicine (UL ICPM) Iveta Eniņa discussed the preparation for the final stage of the project, including the final report preparation and audit, as well as discussed other administrative issues.

While the meeting with the scientific manager of the project Gidi Shani, the organization of the final meeting of the VOGAS project partners was discussed, as well as the potential cooperation in other projects, including the recently approved LUCIA project ("Understanding Lung Cancer related risk factors and their impact") – that is planned to be kick-started on 1st January, 2023, and is supported by the European Union program "Horizon Europe" sub-programme "Research and Innovation actions supporting the implementation of the Mission on Cancer".

The meeting took place at the headquarters of the VOGAS project leading administrative partner, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, where the representative of the UL ICPM also got to know the work of the Technion’s technical laboratories.

© Photo: From personal archive. The meeting of the project administrtaive managers of the UL ICPM and Technion (Israel) in Haifa (Israel)

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No  824986

July 29, 2022

The project A-PATCH has been finished

In June 2022, the A-PATCH project (Autonomous Patch for Real-Time Detection of Infectious Disease), supported by the European Union program "Horizon 2020" and implemented by the UL ICPM, ended.

The project was aimed to research, develop, and validate a novel non-invasive wearable sensing patch for detection of infectious disease at point-of-care, such as Tuberculosis (TB), from the skin, with an ability to serve as a monitoring and epidemic control tool.
 

For more insight, listen to the science podcast #CORDIScovery with project coordinator Hossam Haick explaining how such a patch could help in the fight against tuberculosis https://anchor.fm/cordiscovery/episodes/Fighting-the-spread-of-Tuberculosis-e1jub2h?fbclid=IwAR0CJcugBtvaQ6jfCbsqnlK8Z6hcxi4bqPX0JUhq7oqAYIGlXHjhZF6lEQI

Get to know the results achieved in the project on the A-PATCH website.

 

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 824270

July 26, 2022

As part of the GISTAR project, several patiens have started a H.pylori eradication therapy

Continuing the UL Institute of Clinical and Preventive Medicine project “Hybrid-sensor breath analysis for colorectal cancer screening - HYCOR”, in cooperation with Liepaja Regional Hospital, several patiens have started a H.pylori eradication therapy.

As part of the project, the H.pylori eradication therapy to the patiets is provided free of charge.

H.pylori is a helix-shaped bacteria accommodated to live in the acidic environment of the human stomach. It is responsible for the development of various gastric diseases including gastric cancer. Therefore, this is important to identify timely the individuals at increased risk.

The project is funded by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) 1.1.1.1. project ‘Practical Studies’, 4th phase, project ID Nr. 1.1.1.1/20/A/035 ‘Hybrid-sensor breath analysis for colorectal cancer screening’.

July 22, 2022

Prof. M. Leja gives a lecture on the use of breath volatile organic markers in symposium in Guatemala

"IX International Symposium on Helicobacter pylori Infection and Gastric Cancer" is taking place from July 20 to 22 at the Hotel Museo Casa Santo Domingo, Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala.

The conference is traditionally organized by the National Cancer Institute (USA) experts in collaboration to the representatives from Centralamerican and South American countries.

The meeting is bringing together specialists in the field from American countries as well as from Europe and other countries.

This year the establishment of Latin American H.pylori study group is discussed; collaboration to the European group is anticipated.

The Director of the Institute of Clinical and Preventive Medicine, Prof. Marcis Leja is presenting an overview on the use of breath volatile organic markers for gastric cancer detection.

© Photo: From personal archive. UL ICPM cooperation partner, prof. Alejandro Corvalan from Chile is opening the second day of the conference

© Photos: From personal archive

July 21, 2022

A paper originating from the GISTAR study on biomerkers for detecting gastric precancerous  lesions is published online

A paper on the relevance of blood biomarkers (including pepsinogen) for non-invasive diagnosis of gastric precancerous lesions has been published in DIAGNOSTICS

Assessment of Serum Pepsinogens with and without Co-Testing with Gastrin-17 in Gastric Cancer Risk Assessment—Results from the GISTAR Pilot Study

The study was carried out using the GISTAR material gained in the study GISTAR, run by UL ICPM in the regions of Latvia.  

The research was performed in close cooperation within an international consortium. The first author of the paper is Claudia Robles from Spain, other authorship include researchers from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (France) among the team from the UL ICPM.

The study was performed in cooperation with the Center for Digestive Diseases GASTRO and Academic Histology Laboratory. 

July 12, 2022

An insight into the coverage of the founding of AHMSG in the Nigerian mass media

On June 27 – 29, 2022, in Lagos, Nigeria, a formal founding conference of the African Helicobacter and Microbiota Study Group (AHMSG, as well as an expert meeting on the development of guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of Helicobacter pylori in the continent of Africa was held.

At the founding conference of AHMSG, representing the European Helicobacter and Microbiota Study Group (EHMSG, the director of UL ICPM, prof. Marcis Leja took part and gave a lecture on the experience of gastric cancer screening in Europe, emphasizing specific features on the African continent.

We offer an insight into publications in the Nigerian mass media!

NIMR to Host African Helicobacter and Microbiota Study Initiative, New Telegraph NG, 16.06.2022.

African scientists advance research on bacteria pathogen, Sun News Online, 04.07.2022.

Study group to improve Helicobacter diagnosis, treatment outcomes, New Telegraph NG, 07.07.2022.

July 7, 2022

Latvian policymakers and specialists have been introduced to a globally recognized methodology for cost-effectiveness modeling of cancer screening

By the initiative of UL ICPM, prof. Iris Lansdorp-Vogelaar (ERASMUS University Medical Center) presentation on cost-effectiveness modeling of cancer screening has been introduced.

Outlining that a well set and properly organized cancer screening can be and is cost-effective, specialists in the relevant field of the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Finance and their subordinate institutions, as well as specialists of cancer screening working groups, were addressed.

The lecturer is one of the world's leading experts in this field, and her methodology (MISCAN model (MIcrosimulation SCreening Analysis)) is being used in many countries all over Europe and the USA.

The MISCAN method is also used in the European project EU-TOPIA. The aim of the project is to provide national, regional and local policy makers with expertise and tools to evaluate and quantify their cancer screening programmes for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer.

During the presentation, prof. Iris Lansdorp-Vogelaar outlined the most important economic benefits of effective cancer screening, the prerequisites for ensuring effective cancer screening, and also presented the EU-TOPIA operating principles.

We invite everyone interested to watch the meeting with prof. Iris Lansdorp-Vogelaar and her presentation in video format:

Presentation on modelling for cancer screening by Iris Lansdorp-Vogelaar from LU KPMI on Vimeo.

The meeting took place within the framework of the project "Improving cancer care coordination and screening in Latvia and Slovakia, ICCCS" funded by the European Commission's (EC) Technical Assistance Instrument (DG REFORM), which was initiated by the University of Latvia Institute of Clinical and Preventive Medicine (UL ICPM).

July 6, 2022

UL ICPM representatives have taken part at the PERSIST partners meeting in Switzerland

From June 29 to June 30 in Sierre, Switzerland, representatives of UL ICPM, researcher Dina Bēma and assistant scientific manager of the project Linda Tupiņa, participated in the project PERSIST (Patients-centered SurvivorShip care plan after Cancer treatments based on Big Data and Artificial Intelligence technologies) face-to-face meeting and working group activities held at the Swiss Digital Center Techno-Pole.

During the meeting, the progress of the project so far was reviewed and the current activities planned for the next period were discussed, including the changes to be made in the tasks of the work packages. Also, during the exchange of experience and knowledge of the project partners, the functionality of the project's data input platform was discussed and evaluated, with the aim of improving the obtained results. New information was received about the implementation process of the technical solutions expected in the project.

The goal of the PERSIST project is to find ways to provide patients with individualized post-cancer care. After completing a course of cancer treatment, participants in the study received a smartwatch and a smartphone with a specially designed mHealth app that helps doctors keep track of their health.

The study is international and its clinical part with the inclusion of patients is not only taking place in Latvia, but also in Belgium, Slovenia and Spain. In Latvia, the UL ICPM is responsible for the conduct of the PERSIST clinical trial.

© Photos: From personal archive

Persist website

This project has received funding from the European Union’s “Horizon 2020” research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 875406

July 6, 2022

With UL ICPM director, Prof. M. Leja, present, African Helicobacter and Microbiota Study Group has been founded

With European Helicobacter and Microbiota Study Group (EHMSG) experts present, from June 27 until June 29, 2022, a formal conference on the founding of the African Helicobacter and Microbiota Study Group (initiative) (AHMSG) as well as the expert meeting on the development of guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of Helicobacter pylori in Africa were held.

The EHMSG whos experience was used as the basis for estabilshing the AHMSG, was invited to be represented by two experts, including the UL ICPM director, Prof. Mārcis Leja.

Representatives of many African countries took part in the meeting, presenting their experience so far, and the differences between the involved countries. During the conference, M. Leja gave a lecture on gastric cancer screening, emphasizing topicalities in Europe, as well as paying attention to the specific features applicable in the African continent. The event attracted widespread media attention, including television, and was positioned as a historic event in African cooperation.

Similarly to the EHMSG, the African Helicobacter and Microbiota Study Group (initiative)is composed of experts from several countries on the African continent. Its mission is to develop guidelines for the treatment of Helicobacter pylori infections and to promote related research on the continent.

 

© Photos: From personal archive

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