Through its strategic focus area Personalized Health and Related Technologies (PHRT), in collaboration with Swiss hospitals, the ETH Domain has been promoting the testing and integration of ETH technologies into clinical practice for the benefit of patients since 2017. Activities in the first phase until 2020 focused on launching three technology platforms, specifically the Swiss Multi-Omics Center (SMOC), and on funding more than 50 medical/clinical research projects of various types. With its recent call for clinical trials, PHRT reached its goal of the second phase by closing the gap between research and practical implementation in the clinical setting.
Expressing his enthusiasm with the selection process and funded projects, Prof. Dr. Markus Rudin, Chairman of the review panel, stated, “The review panel and I are delighted with the chosen projects, which involve teams from ETH Zurich (ETHZ)/University Hospital Zurich (UZH) and Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI)/University Hospital Basel (UHB). These clinical trial projects will evaluate technology developed within the ETH domain, including an image-based drug screening approach for leukemia patients (‘PHRT RAPID‘), and a radioligand therapy for treating prostate cancer (‘PROGNOSTICS‘), within a clinical trial framework, ultimately benefiting patients.”
The two selected clinical trial projects will be supported by the state-of-the-art ETHZ Digital Trial Intervention Platform (dTIP) for streamlined trial management and ETHZ NEXUS Personalized Health Technologies (NEXUS) for comprehensive biostatistical analysis. Secure sharing and analysis of patient-derived information across multiple sites will be facilitated by the newly established Swiss BioMedIT infrastructure, implemented by the partner program Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN).
These groundbreaking first-in-human studies, catalyzed by PHRT, exemplify the ETH Domain’s commitment to, together with its clinical partners, drive the future of healthcare. By leveraging ETH technologies and algorithms, these projects aim to enhance clinical decision-making and therapeutics, benefitting patients in Switzerland and worldwide.
About ‘PHRT RAPID’: “Relapsed/refractory AML treatment by Pharmacoscopy-Identified Drugs, a randomized phase-2 clinical trial is led by the team of Prof. Dr. Berend Snijder of ETH Zurich. The trial will be performed in collaboration with Prof. Dr. med. Markus Manz and PD Dr. med. Alexandre Theocharides at the University Hospital of Zurich, will recruit 60 patients suffering from acute myeloid leukemia and allocate patients either to a treatment group receiving drugs determined by a physician or to a treatment group where the drug decision is determined by the method of pharmacoscopy – an image-based drug screening approach. The patient response to the treatments will be assessed after four weeks.
About PROGNOSTICS: “PROGNOSTICS: PeRsOnalized theraGNOstics of metaStaTIC proState cancer” is proposed by the team of Prof. Dr. Roger Schibli of the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI). The trial performed in collaboration with Prof. Dr. med. Damian Wild at the University Hospital of Basel and Prof. Dr. Nicola Aceto of the ETHZ will test a new radioligand in two studies recruiting a total of 36 patients suffering from advanced prostate cancer. It is an innovative drug targeting the tumor precisely and emitting radiation in its vicinity. The safety of the drug and the first signs of drug response will be assessed during these studies.
About PHRT: The Personalized Health and Related Technologies (PHRT) is a strategic focus area of the ETH Domain, dedicated to advancing personalized healthcare through the integration of cutting-edge technologies, research collaborations, and innovative clinical trials. PHRT aims to bridge the gap between academia and clinical practice, driving the development and implementation of transformative healthcare solutions.
About ETH Domain: the ETH Domain encompasses six Swiss research institutions: ETH Zurich (ETHZ), EPF Lausanne (EPFL), Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), Empa, Eawag and the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL). ETHZ, EPFL, PSI and Empa are the partners of the strategic focus area PHRT.
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