European Cancer Organisation

NEWS: Highlights from the 19th MCCR Workshop

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In June 2017, ECCO, AACR, EORTC and ESMO organised the 19th edition of the annual Workshop on Methods in Clinical Cancer Research in Zeist, the Netherlands. Hundreds of students over the years have successfully learned the essentials of clinical trial design thanks to this Workshop and this edition was no exception.

Under the guidance of the Workshop Directors –  Stefan Sleijfer, Lee M. Ellis, Corneel Coens and Emiliano Calvo – along with other leading clinical experts in the field of oncology, the MCCR Workshop participants completed their trial protocols and are now expected to make every effort to implement them. Study concepts were rigorously vetted and scrutinised at all stages; starting from assessing the key clinical question and finishing with addressing post-protocol management issues. The Workshop is frequently described as an intensive experience by both faculty and fellows committed to advance cancer research and address daily practice challenges. 

From a shortlist of 10 nominees out of 83 participants the Innovative Protocol Award was jointly awarded to 3 winners: 

Tanja Eggersmann, Gynaecologist from University of Munich
Summary of the trial design:  The aim of the prospective, randomised two-arm phase-III study is to evaluate wheather eHealth-based High Density Observation of Patient Reported Outcome (eHOb-PRO) may:
(i) positively influence the rate of adherence to oral adjuvant endocrine therapy after 12 months in HR+ HER2- early breast cancer because of better and earlier understanding of symptoms and adverse effects under treatment
(ii) improve patient QoL due to improved patient on treatment support, and
(iii) prolong overall treatment duration, which may eventually lead to improved outcome


Sean O’Cathail, Radiation Oncologist from CRUK/MRC Oxford Institute for Radiation Oncology
Summary of the trial design: Chemoradiation with Enadenotucirev for Locally advanced rectal cancer (CEDAR) is a Phase I trial, in a radical neoadjuvant setting, using a novel oncolytic adenovirus as a radiosensitizer in combination with chemoradiation for downstaging adenocarcinoma of the rectum prior to surgery.  The trial is based on time to event continual reassessment method (TiTE CRM) to assess the dose limiting toxicity of dose escalation in this setting in order to select the optimal dose for a Phase II trial. 


Maxime van der Valk, Surgical Oncologist from Leiden University Medical Centre
Summary of the trial design: The aim of this multidisciplinary phase II study is to investigate the feasibility of a tumour-targeted fluorescent tracer, combined with the use of a flexible fluorescence-endoscope to assess the response after chemo-radiotherapy in patients with rectal cancer. If feasibility is shown, this technique can be implemented to increase the accuracy of patient selection (in case of a clinical complete response) for organ preserving strategies such as Watch-and-wait.

The Outstanding Mentor Award was awarded to Dr Robert Maki from Monter Cancer Center and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, while the Outstanding Biostatistician Mentor Award was awarded to Ms Saskia Litiere from EORTC.

Prof Nadia Harbeck was appointed by ECCO as MCCR Workshop Director-Elect. Her term as Workshop Director commences as of the 21st edition.

To view the photo gallery, click here

The 20th edition of the ECCO-AACR-EORTC-ESMO Workshop on Methods in Clinical Cancer Research will take place on 16-22 June 2018 in Zeist, the Netherlands. 

To learn more about the MCCR Workshop visit


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