Exploring Horizons: SIOPEN Translational Research Meeting in Vienna

(Vienna, 31.1.2024) Over the past three days, scientists from leading institutes such as St. Anna CCRI, Charite, Curie, Prinses Maxima Center, University of Leeds and the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital engaged in dynamic discussions on pivotal topics, spanning the realms of Liquid Biopsies, Tumor Biology, and New Drug Development.

The SIOPEN Translational Research Meeting in Vienna brought together visionaries and experts in the field, with the local Organizing Committee led by St. Anna Children’s Cancer Research Institute and its researchers Sabine Taschner-Mandl, Kaan Boztug, Ruth Ladenstein, and Marie Bernkopf. Collaborating with the SIOPEN Translational Research Committees and the chairs and co-chairs of the Translational Research Speciality Committees and Working Groups, the event delivered groundbreaking discussions and insights with the aim to develop better diagnostics and therapy options for children with neuroblastoma.

Sabine Taschner-Mandl and Kaan Boztug © St. Anna Children’s Cancer Research Institute

Day 1 kicked off with an immersive exploration into liquid biopsy research, featuring the MONALISA Workshop, a new project – the inaugural meeting took place just yesterday. Scientists delved into the intricacies of circulating nucleic acids, cutting-edge techniques and clinical applications for disease monitoring. The day concluded with eye-opening studies, shedding light on the proteomic landscape of extracellular vesicles and providing insights into bone marrow niche changes upon neuroblastoma metastasis.

Day 2 was a captivating exploration of tumor biology. We were particularly excited to see our scientists Ruth Ladenstein, Ulrike Pötschger, Sabine Taschner-Mandl, Kaan Boztug and Florian Halbritter on stage, talking about High-risk Neuroblastoma, imaging-based functional drug screening platforms, cell models and the use of AI. From infrastructure updates on SIOPEN Bioportal to in-depth discussions on molecular diagnosis and risk stratification, the day was a testament to the continuous evolution of molecular research for the benefit of patients with neuroblastoma.

The SIOPEN Meeting wrapped up with a culmination of insights and strategies for new drug development. From a comprehensive NDD strategy review to updates on novel treatment options based on preclinical data, the day showcased the relentless pursuit of innovative therapies. The session concluded with a visionary look into trial fast-tracking proposals, paving the way for the future of neuroblastoma treatment.