Benefits of SPECTAlung explained to patients

SPECTAlung stands for ‘Screening Patients with thoracic tumors for Efficient Clinical Trials Access’

A Biobank dedicated to thoracic cancer

Picture1 Thoracic cancer includes lung: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) and Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC); malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) and thymic malignancies (TM). It is the second  most frequent malignant disease in Europe and the first  most common cancer worldwide. It has been estimated that 409,900 citizens in Europe of both genders are newly diagnosed every year and approximately 353.700 of them will die each year. When in advanced stages, the average life expectancy beyond diagnosis for fatal cases is quite short.

(Source EJC 2013)

 This calls for urgent research!

SPECTAlung is the first ever European prospective fully annotated tumour samples Biobank and Biomarker analysis platform for genetic profiling of patients suffering from thoracic cancer.

This platform unique in its kind joins up clinical forces at a Pan-European level to develop personalized treatments based on the results of the tissue sampling analysis. Supported by a network of 15 main clinical centers with thoracic expertise in 12 countries, this initiative has the ultimate goal of enabling better access to treatment options. An estimated number of 500 patients for the first year and 500 < 1000 patients are expected to be enrolled in the following years. To date, the EORTC is proud to announce that 23 patients have enrolled since the official start of the biobank on 22 May 2015!

Visualize the video on molecular tumor testing:

Principle of the Biobank

  • SPECTAlung is a bank (a collection) of metastatic tumoral tissue cancer samples.
  • Biobank rationale: The aim is to analyze the samples by extracting the DNA and RNA and develop targeted treatment called precision medicine tested on patients in the course of clinical trials.

SPECTAlung and the principle of precision medicine

What is precision medicine?

(Source: MD Anderson Cancer Centre)

Precision medicine or personalized cancer therapy or is a treatment strategy centered on the ability to predict which patients are more likely to respond to specific cancer therapies. This approach is founded upon the idea that tumor biomarkers are associated with patient prognosis and tumor response to therapy. In addition, patient genetic factors can be associated with drug metabolism, drug response and drug toxicity. Personalized tumor molecular profiles, tumor disease site and other patient characteristics are then potentially used for determining optimum individualized therapy options.

Tumor biomarkers can be DNA, RNA, protein and metabolic profiles that predict therapy response.  The identification of specific tumor biomarkers enables thus to assess  potential therapy options. However, the most recent approach is the sequencing of tumor DNA, which can reveal genomic alterations that have implications for cancer treatment.


©Source MD Anderson Cancer centre

 Why precision medicine?

  • Precision medicine versus standard treatments is a cancer therapeutic revolution!
  • Develop a treatment that targets the  patients’ tumor type specifically


A biobank and biomarker analysis platform to test molecular alterations in cancer patients

  • First ever tumor tissue samples biobank and biomarker analysis platform to test molecular alterations to offer access to clinical trials and new treatment in thoracic cancer patients


Precision medicine aims to prolong patients’ survival


The Biobank direct benefits for the patients

  • A European innovation: New clinical trials trying out precision medicine!
  • A wide network of specialists for an improved access to the latest treating technologies regardless of geographical differences

  • Patients are tested to identify their specific cancer markers to offer the possibility to enter them into biomarker-led clinical trials.

  • New! Clinical trial access now possible for smaller cohorts of patients with ‘rare’ combinations of mutations