Tor 25 jul / År 42 / Nr 3 2024

CREATE Health moves to the new cancer-hub at Medicon Village

Through the initiative CREATE Health, researchers at Lund University is working to utilize new research that can improve cancer treatments and care. Researchers at CREATE Health has recently presented exciting results in the area of ​​prostate cancer diagnostics. The results can lead to new types of tests that can serve as a complement to conventional clinical diagnostics. Researchers from all faculties at Lund University with a connection to cancer research have gained access to new premises; the idea is to create a natural environment for collaboration.

CREATE Health covers several areas of knowledge in modern cancer research. The activities are largely funded by VINNOVA, The Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation and Lund University. The vision is to develop better ways to diagnose and treat cancer with current clinical challenges in mind. By identifying biomarkers and molecular signatures, individually tailored therapies is to be developed for each patient. This area is widely known as personalised medicine. In order to realise the key goals of personalised medicine, close cooperation between academia and clinicians is required.

CREATE Health expands in Medicon Village
In order to create a better basis for cooperation a vast relocation is taking place within the university. A significant number of researchers will move into AstraZeneca’s old premises, now known as Medicon Village. The move has been made possible thanks to a generous donation from Mats Paulsson, founder of Peab.
“Previously, all members of staff with a connection to cancer research have been spread all over the campus. By initiating the move, we aim to emphasise that we are concentrating and focusing even more on cancer research here in Lund. The move also gives us better opportunities to build long-term relationships with other actors in the Medicon Village and the Medicon Valley Alliance, which includes both Swedish and Danish companies”, says Carl Borrebaeck, program director of CREATE Health.
Medicon Valley Alliance is a cluster organisation within the field of life science with a strong foothold in the south of Sweden and Denmark. Medicon Village includes more than 60 companies; also including the Region Skåne biobank and the Regional Cancer Center (RCC-Syd). There is a strong entrepreneurial spirit in the area that hopefully also will benefit the climate for innovation within CREATE Health.

Focus on cancer diagnostics
CREATE Health has been established to address clinical problems and contribute to increased knowledge in the cancer field. “One area that we work with is prostate cancer, and this is where researchers are confident about introducing a new type of diagnostic tool that will eliminate the need for biopsy tests where they are not really needed”, Carl Borrebaeck explains.
The traditional PSA test serves as an indicator for both prostate cancer and normal prostate enlargement. However, the PSA test cannot distinguish between the two, and in order to get a definitive answer biopsy is required.
“In collaboration with researchers at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and Skåne University Hospital in Malmö, we have conducted a study of 80 patients with different PSA levels. We have identified markers associated with malignancy and we want to develop new tests to complement the currently used PSA test. The tests are designed to be able to distinguish patients at high risk of developing tumours from patients with lower risk, thus reducing the need for biopsies”, Carl Borrebaeck continues.

Exciting development for CREATE Health
Another area of interest to researchers at CREATE Health is breast cancer. Carl Borrebaeck comments: “In one of the projects we are involved in the so-called SCAN-B project, where all breast cancer patients in southern Sweden are to be identified in order to improve care and align efforts so that the right treatment is given to the right patient. It is a comprehensive project partly organised by Åke Borg from CREATE Health and with great effort from the hospital and the university”.
Cancer research at Lund University makes a historic relocation with the move to Medicon Village where they hope to create a stronger research and innovation environment. It will be an exciting year for all those involved in and with CREATE Health with many large projects in the pipeline.