1. To promote the integration of research and development capacities in the area of leukemia in the adult and aging population in these regions.

This research will be aimed at figuring out the causes and origin of leukemia and the investigation of cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the progression of the disease. The reason is to diagnose leukemia early so that patients can benefit from early treatment, before the progression occurs.

It is currently known that chronic lymphoid leukemia (CLL), the most frequent leukemia in adulthood, is preceded by the appearance of tumor B lymphocytes in the blood, increasing its prevalence as age progresses and affecting the immune system. Therefore, it is essential to understand the ontogenic events that are associated with the origin of abnormal B lymphoid populations in stages prior to leukemia (i.e. monoclonal B lymphocytosis, MBL), and to identify the factors involved in the selection, dominance and evolution of pathological B lymphocytes associated with their transformation into advanced (malignant) disease, to make an early diagnosis.

2. Multidisciplinary Training and Mobility Program in the area of cancer prevention and its associated morbidities.

Taking into consideration skills and prior knowledge of the project participants, a training plan will be established. This training plan will be directed on the one hand to the researchers of the participating entities and, on the other hand, to newly hired students who will develop their PhDs during the project implementation.

IDIAL-NET intends to train staff specialized in molecular, translational and clinical oncology to promote the development of new technological advances and their rapid transfer from the laboratory to the clinic and vice versa. The project aims to take advantage of the participation of international reference partners in the field of oncology in regions of Castile and Leon and the Center of Portugal, both in terms of scientific infrastructure and research staff to enhance their visibility, as well as improve the exchange and acquisition of new abilities, and professional skills in the development of new prevention and diagnosis strategies for leukemia. The improvement of the mutual knowledge of the different public and private entities, that are part of the consortium, will facilitate the development and a gradual progress in the understanding of the disease and in the development of new techniques and/or medical procedures for an improvement of the resource usage.

3. Valuation of innovation through the development of innovative and minimally invasive monitoring instruments.

The use of innovation in the business network through the development of collaborative R&D projects (involving research centers and companies), in order to produce exploitable results mainly applied to the health industry, regional Healthcare Systems and society in general. In order to reach the goal, the following activities will be carried out:

  • A non-invasive diagnostic kit will be developed based on a low-cost blood test, to ensure a sustainable service, all without compromising on high sensitivity and diagnostic specificity.
  • An innovative robotic platform will also be developed for the automated processing of samples for multiparameter studies by cytometry in the clinical laboratory, which will allow the analysis of new markers with clinical relevance and improve the scope and depth of in vitro diagnosis. All this will contribute to a more precise, early and personalized diagnosis, which will eventually lead to improved treatment options and the quality of life of leukemia patients and of the population susceptible to developing the disease.
  • Another innovative project will be aimed at the transport of biological samples from the place where they were obtained to the place where the analysis of these is carried out, since it constitutes a key element for the success of a centralized laboratory analysis of samples. Therefore, protocols for the stabilization of blood samples and desiccation of the different biological components derived from blood fractioning will be developed.

4. Transfer of the results to Regional Healthcare Systems.

An observational study will be developed to identify the presence of MBL in the general population of the regions of Castile and Leon and Center of Portugal, both characterized by being an aging population, to determine the true frequency and prognostic impact of the MBL in different age groups, and subsequently establish the possible efficiency and cost of a Program for Early Diagnosis and Leukemia Monitoring (MBL and CLL) in adults.

5. Communication.

The Communication and Exploitation Committee will ensure the maximum dissemination of the results of the project both to the scientific community directly interested in the development of the IDIAL-NET Network, as well as to the business sector and the general public.

>> In the applied medical research and implementation of the support program for the training and mobility of researchers in leukemia of the elderly population, the communication objectives are as follows:

  • To publicize the factors involved in their ontogeny, identifying the parameters related to the emergence of tumor cells and their expansion
  • Publicize the training and mobility plan and the results obtained.

The target groups of this objective are researchers in the field of oncology, leukemia and aging. They will be reached through:

  • scientific articles, where cell and molecular causes and mechanisms are explained in detail
  • conferences, where the main results of the project will be explained

>> In the development of the 3 innovative projects, the objectives are the results of the projects (innovative kits for early diagnosis of simple, economical and minimally invasive leukemia; innovative robotic platform for the processing of samples in multiparameter studies by CMF in the clinical laboratory; and innovative archival and transport systems of biological material)

The target groups of this objective are researchers in the field of oncology, leukemia and aging, as well as the R&D&I directors of the target biotechnology companies and regional healthcare systems. They will be reached through:

  • scientific articles and patents
  • conferences
  • networking actions related to attending conferences and related workshops

>> In order to promote socio-sanitary innovation in the regional healthcare systems of the regions of Central Portugal and Castile and Leon in the area of ​​early diagnosis of leukemia, the results obtained from the observational study and the Program for Early Diagnosis and Monitoring of Leukemia in the adult population and its implementation in the health centers of the participating regions will also be encouraged and promoted.

The target groups of this communication objective will be public administrations as well as entrepreneurs (potential business creators as a consequence of this opportunity) and the population in general. It is planned to reach them through participation in events led by related associations and networking actions of a political and business nature and through communications aimed at the press and general information campaigns for the population.