Dynamic and efficient, the Oncodistinct Network aims to respond to the exponential changes in the oncology research landscape by accelerating treatment individualization, promoting multidisciplinarity and challenging current practices, particularly in settings with unmet medical need. Oncodistinct is a research Network bringing together academic lead investigators sharing the same vision of innovative clinical research. By building a strong collaboration between clinicians, scientists and our partners in drug development, we intent to develop early-to-later phases clinical trials based on cutting-edge designs and high-level translational research components with the aim to improve significantly patient outcomes.
Accelerating treatment individualization, promoting multidisciplinarity and challenging current practices
Developing early to later phases based on cutting-edge designs
Building a strong collaboration between clinicians, scientists and stakeholders of clinical research
A network so far composed of 11 comprehensive cancer centers and 16 university hospitals with expertise in oncology. The centers closely work together to contribute to a common project.
The Oncodistinct investigator’s think tank is the forum for scientific discussions, ideas and strategies, proposing innovative research to the Network. The think tank is composed by a large panel of experts in cancer care involved in drugs development.
Ahmad Awada is Head of the Medical Oncology Clinic, and Head of the Clinical Trials Conduct Unit at Jules Bordet Cancer Institute in Brussels, Belgium. He is Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. As a clinician, Pr Awada has an important clinical activity in the treatment of solid tumors, in particular breast cancer. He also takes an active part in the development of new drugs (cytotoxics, molecular-targeted therapies, immunotherapy), which some of them are widely used. Pr. Awada is member of several international scientific societies (ASCO, EORTC, ESMO). He published 26 book chapters and 241 scientific publications in international journals.
Brussels – Belgium
Philippe Aftimos, MD is a medical oncologist and the senior research physician at the Clinical Pharmacology Unit of Institut Jules Bordet in Brussels since October 2012.
Dr Aftimos has a special interest in breast cancer, new drug development and precision medicine. At Institut Jules Bordet, he supervises the phase I clinical trials program. He is also responsible for the coordination of the institutional Sequencing Tumor Board. He is co-PI of AURORA (Aiming to Understand the Molecular Aberrations of Metastatic Breast Cancer), a large European molecular screening program launched by the Breast International Group. He is also co-PI of the soon to be launched Belgian Society of Medical Oncology precision medicine program.
Brussels – Belgium
Philippe Barthélémy is medical oncologist in the Department of medical oncology at the University hospital of Strasbourg and the Comprehensive Cancer Center of Strasbourg in France.
Doctor Philippe Barthélémy was born in Luxembourg and did his internship at the University hospital of Strasbourg, France. He obtained his degree of doctor of medicine in 2009 and his thesis of sciences in molecular biology in 2016 at the University of Strasbourg. During his specialization in medical oncology, he also followed trainings in the clinical development of new anticancer drugs at the Jules Bordet Institute in Brussels (under the supervision of Professor Ahmad Awada). He has an important clinical activity in the treatment of solid tumors and in particular breast cancer and genitourinary cancers.
He co-leads the early drug development unit of the “Institut regional du Cancer Alsace “. Furthermore he’s head of the molecular tumor board in Strasbourg.
Dr Barthélémy is ESMO member, French GETUG group and Unicancer Breast cancer intergroup member. He’s currently senior lecturer at the University of Strasbourg.
Medical oncologist graduated from the Université Libre de Bruxelles, 1990, training at Brussels Institut Jules Bordet Cancer Center, research fellow Lombardi Cancer Center, Georgetown University. PhD thesis on Hypoxic stress regulated NK cell immune response at University Paris Sud. In 2003 founded the Laboratory of Experimental Cancer Research at Luxembourg Institute of Health. Clinical position Staff Oncologist at Centre Hospitalier in Luxembourg where he heads the Oncology Platform. Clinical work lung cancer and neurooncology. Labwork on cell death mechanisms in hematology, immunooncology and personalized medicine. President of Luxembourg National Institute of Cancer, Luxembourg Society of Oncology and MSF Luxembourg. CAT delegate at EMA.
Filippo de Braud, MD, is currently Full Professor of Medical Oncology appointed to Department of Oncology and Emato-Oncology, Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy,
Director, School of Specialization in Medical Oncology, Università degli Studi di Milano, and Director of Medical Oncology Department and Division of the National Cancer Institute, Milan, where his principal area of expertise is clinical research in oncology.
He is leading researchers in new drugs development (Phase I and early Phase II studies) and teaching in academic environment at University of Milan, Rome and Ferrara.
Since 2000, he has been appointed Scientific Advisor and Member of Committee at Italian Medicine Agency AIFA, Ministry of Health, and several Pharmaceutical Companies.
Dr de Braud is the author or coauthor of over 330 publications in medical oncology.
Milano – Italie
Dr Lore Decoster is a staff member of the department of Medical Oncology at Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel, Brussels, Belgium. As a clinician dr Decoster has an important clinical activity in the treatment of solid tumours, with a special focus on lung cancer, breast cancer, gynaecological cancers and thyroid cancer. She is also focussing on geriatric oncology. Dr Decoster is also a researcher in these domains, in particular in lung cancer and geriatric oncology. Dr Decoster is a member of different scientific organisations including ASCO, ESMO, IASLC, BSMO and SIOG. Dr Decoster has published more than 20 articles in different peer review journals.
Brussels – Belgium
Jean-Pierre Delord is Professor in Medical Oncology at the Paul Sabatier University in Toulouse, France.
Pr Delord’s research interest focus on the biology of Ovarian, Head and Neck cancer, Pharmacology of anticancer drugs, and the relationship of the tumour micro-environment and malignant cells, and investigations of clinical applications in the field of pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic and phase I trials. He is also involved in pre-clinical programs of development of new compounds from basic research to early phases.
He is participating to many scientific boards of pharmaceutical companies and biotech companies, specially during pre-clinical phases of development. He is a national expert of the Minister of Research and Industry.
Pr Delord is an active/board member or expert of the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO), the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and has served as member of the Scientific Committee of the PAMM group.
Pr Delord has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles and over 300 abstracts in congress.
Toulouse – France
Prof. Anthony Gonçalves is a medical oncologist at the Comprehensive Cancer Center Institute Paoli-Calmettes (IPC), Marseille, France. In the Department of Medical Oncology of IPC, he is leading the metastatic breast cancer program. At IPC, he is also co-heading the early phase trial unit, in charge of developing innovative medical therapeutics for solid tumor patients. Since 2013, he is Professor of Oncology at the Medical School of La Timone, Marseille, Aix-Marseille University. He is an active member of ESMO and its Breast Cancer Faculty Group. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the Unicancer Breast Cancer Group.
Prof. Gonçalves has published 150 papers in peer-reviewed journals in the domain of basic, translational and clinical oncology.
Institut Paoli-Calmettes – Marseille – France
Tormod Kyrre Guren (MD, PhD) is specialist in medical oncology and radiation therapy. Since 2010, Dr. Guren works as a Senior Consultant at the Clinical Cancer Research Unit at Oslo University Hospital (The Norwegian Radium Hospital) in Oslo, Norway. His main clinical activity is focused on treatment of patients with solid tumors, in particular colorectal cancer and malignant melanoma. As an associated investigator at the K.G. Jebsen Colorectal Cancer Research Centre, Dr. Guren is involved in several translational research projects in the field of colorectal cancer. He is a member of ESMO and EORTC.
Oslo – Norway
Doctor Alain HENDLISZ is a gastroenterologist. He obtained his MD (Docteur en Médecine, Chirurgie et Accouchements) at the Université Libre de Bruxelles in 1988 and his specialization in gastroenterology in 1993. From October 1993 to September 2002, he worked at the Gastroenterology Unit (Prof. Harry Bleiberg) and at the Oncology Unit (Prof. Martine Piccart) of the Jules Bordet Institute-Brussels. During 2002, he visited the Royal Marsden Hospital, Sutton, England at the Digestive Oncology department (Prof. Cunningham) as a clinical fellow supported by a grant of “Les Amis de l’Institut Bordet”. Since 2002, he is the Head of the Gastro-Enterology Unit, Medical Oncology Clinic at the Jules Bordet Institute, Anti-Cancer Center – Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) – Brussels – Belgium.
He is founding and currently member of the Board of the BGDO (Belgian Group for Digestive Oncology). He is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO), the Société Royale Belge de Gastro-entérologie (SRBG) and European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC).
Dr Alain HENDLISZ is also member of the editorial committee of several scientific journals including Current Opinion in Oncology. He published 89 peer-reviewed papers in international journals and chapters of books (35 as first or last author). He is involved as principal investigator or co-investigator in numerous national and international clinical studies. In 2015, Dr Hendlisz defended his PhD thesis entitled “Multimodality imaging for treatment response prediction in colorectal cancer”, and he is now Maître de Conférences at Université Libre de Bruxelles.
Brussels – Belgium
Stephane Holbrechts is head of Oncology – Hematology – Palliative Care department and coordinator of the cancer care program at the university hospital Ambroise Pare (HAP) Mons Belgium. He is internship supervisor in oncology.
Mostly active as clinician, he is particularly involved in the treatment of digestive and lung cancer, holder of a European Interuniversity certificate in thoracic oncology. As researcher, he has a ten years experience as principal investigator of numerous clinical trials and is active in academic and fundamental research notably by cooperating with UMHAP (Clinical Research Center of HAP and Mons University) and ELCWP (European Lung Cancer Working Party). He is member of several scientific societies (ASCO, BSMO, BGDO).
Hopital Universitaire Ambroise Paré – Mons – Belgium
Nuria Kotecki is a medical oncologist graduated from Lille 2 University of Health and Law in 2014 and currently working at Jules Bordet Institute, in Brussels. During her internship, she has been trained in the clinical development of new cancer drugs at the Jules Bordet Institut. Her main fields of activity and research interests are breast cancer and development of innovative medical therapeutics for solid tumor patients. She has participated in several clinical trials from phase I to later phases. Dr Nuria Kotecki is a member of different scientific organisations including ASCO, ESMO and AACR. She has authored and co-authored articles in national and international papers as well as many abstracts in congress.
Biosketch Prof. Christophe Le Tourneau, MD, PhD
Christophe Le Tourneau is senior Medical Oncologist at the Institut Curie and Professor of Medicine at the Versailles-Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University. He is heading the Early Phase Clinical Trials Program as well as the Head and Neck Clinic. He is also involved in precision medicine clinical trials, having been the PI of the SHIVA trials.
Christophe Le Tourneau was certified in Medical Oncology in 2005 and got his PhD in Clinical Epidemiology in 2007. He did a 2-year Clinical Research Fellowship at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, Canada, in the Drug Development Program. His main interests are precision medicine, phase I clinical trials with a special attention at the methodology to conduct these trials, as well as Head and Neck oncology. Christophe Le Tourneau is the principal investigator of numerous phase I and II trials, as well as of clinical trials in Head and Neck oncology. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers in international journals.
Martijn Lolkema is board certified medical oncologist at the Erasmus MC Cancer Institute in Rotterdam. He has completed an MD/PhD program in 2008 and received a Dutch Cancer Foundation award to receive additional research training abroad. He visited the UK to perform research on drug development and translational research using model systems such as genetically engineered mice. In 2010 he started is first position at the UMC Utrecht where he was intimately involved in designing and building a national collaborative group to implement Next Generation Sequencing for cancer patients: the Center for Personalized Cancer Treatment (CPCT). Moreover, he chaired the early trials unit in Utrecht and was intimately involved in the development of novel drugs.
In 2014 Dr. Lolkema joined the Erasmus MC Cancer Institute in Rotterdam to continue his work on drug development and the CPCT. The focus of his clinical and translational research is to understand the factors that determine treatment response and resistance in prostate cancer.
Erasmus MC – Rotterdam – The Netherlands
Dr Deborah Mukherji joined the faculty of the American University of Beirut in June 2012 as a medical oncologist and has a special interest in GI and GU oncology. Dr Mukherji completed her advanced specialty training in Medical Oncology at Guys and St Thomas’s NHS Foundation Trust, London UK and was awarded a Post-Graduate Diploma in Oncology from the Institute of Cancer Research, University of London in 2011.
On completion of her advanced specialty training Dr Mukherji joined the Royal Marsden Hospital London where she worked with Professor Johann De Bono specializing in clinical research and drug development with a focus on prostate cancer. In June 2015 Dr Mukherji was awarded a post-graduate diploma in Global Clinical Research from Harvard Medical School supported by a scholarship from the Dubai-Harvard Foundation. In June 2016 Dr Mukherji was elected as a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians UK.
Beirut – Lebanon
YUEYIN PAN is vice president of Anhui Cancer Hospital, and Head of the department of Anhui Provencial Hospital China. He is Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Anhui Medical University.
As a clinician, he has an important clinical activity in the treatment of solid tumors, in particular breast cancer and lung cancer. Pr. PAN is member of several international scientific societies. He published over 100 scientific publications in international journals.
Anhui Cancer Hospital – Anhui – China
Head of department of medical oncology and member of the directory board of the oncology center, Institut Roi Albert II, Cliniques universitaires Saint-Luc, Université catholique de Louvain, Brussels Belgium.
Training : Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore USA (Fellow in Medical Oncology 1998-2000) and Université catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium (MD: 1993; PhD: 2001).
Main interests: Head and Neck cancer, translational research, and early clinical trials (phase 1).
Publications: more than one hundred and fifty papers reporting on clinical trials and translational research
Editor: Section Editor (Head and neck cancer), European Journal of Cancer
Nicolas PENEL (M.D, Ph.D) is Head of Clinical Research and Innovation Department of the Oscar Lambret Cancer Center at Oscar Lambret Cancer, Lille, and North of France. This department includes early phase trial unit, day hospital dedicated to patients enrolled in clinical trials, methodology and biostatistics Unit and Regulatory/Operational Unit in charge of promoting clinical trials. As researcher in Medical School Lille University, his main expertise is methodology of early phase clinical trials, especially reporting of adverse events. As medical oncologist, his main clinical expertise is management of adult sarcoma, urinary cancers and rare cancers. Dr PENEL is member of several scientific societies (ASCO, EORTC, and CTOS). He published 223 scientific or didactic publications in international journals.
Massimo Di Nicola is Head of the Immunotherapy and Anticancer Innovative Therapeutics Unit at Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale Tumori of Milan, Italy. He has been involved throughout his career in both clinical and pre-clinical research programs in onco-hematology, thus building from the beginning of his scientific background an experience in the field of translational medicine. He also takes an active part in the development of new therapeutic strategies (i.e., high-dose chemotherapy, vaccination with dendritic cells, molecular-targeted therapies) with some important achievements for the improvement of anticancer cure. Dr. Di Nicola is member of several international scientific societies (ASCO, ASH, ESMO, NIBIT). He published 10 book chapters and 110 scientific publications in international journals.
Prof Eric Raymond is consultant, head of medical oncology at the Paris Saint-Joseph Hospital.
Eric Raymond is board certified MD specialized in medical oncology and obtained a PhD degree in cellular and molecular biology, working on preclinical mechanisms of action and combinations of several novel anticancer drugs. He has been appointed as Chef de Clinique in Paris 6 Curie University with Prof. A. de Gramont for two years before undertaking a 2 year post-doctoral fellowship with Daniel D. Von Hoff at the Cancer Therapy and Research Centre and Institute for Drug Development at the University of Texas in San Antonio, USA, Then, Eric Raymond undertook clinical and translational research in phase1-2 clinical studies of early drug development at the Gustave-Roussy Institute, Villejuif, France for 7 years.
Eric Raymond has been appointed as full professor of oncology at the University of Paris VII (Denis Diderot) and chair of the Medical Oncology Department at Bichat-Beaujon University Hospitals, Clichy, France in 2004. Prof Eric Raymond was also appointed as full professor of medical oncology at the university of Lausanne in 2014. Over more than 10 years of experience as a chair of oncology in France and Switzerland, Eric Raymond developed in medical and research skill in patient care, oncology teaching, research, regulatory requirement, management, and team building. Eric Raymond specialized in various areas of drug development focusing on translational laboratory research and early clinical trials focusing on drugs and therapeutics with novel mechanisms of action. Eric Raymond developed a large number of academic- and industry-sponsored projects both in the lab and the clinic. Current focus is related to bridge preclinical and translational data to clinical applications to accelerate novel drug positioning both for safety and efficacy. Works are ongoing to develop tumour tissue-based biomarkers, liquid biopsy, and in-patient molecular imaging.
Hôpital Saint-Joseph – Paris – France
Medical Oncology Department Unitat d’Investigació en Teràpia Molecular (UITM)/ Research Unit for Molecular Therapy of Cancer Vall Hebron University Hospital.
Specialization in Medical Oncology at the Catalan Institute of Oncology. Research fellow at the Advanced Drug Development Fellowship program at the Institute For Drug Development in San Antonio, Texas, and Senior Research fellow at the Investigational Cancer Therapeutics Department at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. I joined the Medical Oncology Department in 2008 and have been principal investigator or co-investigator in more than 80 phase I trials. At Vall Hebron, I coordinate the phase I program and the clinical research at UITM. We are focused in complex clinical trials with drugs in early development. Main interest is proof-of-concept and proof-of-mechanism trials with targeted therapies.
Barcelona – Spain
Professor Dr. Christian Rolfo MD, PhD, MBAh
Is board certified oncologist by University of Milan, Italy; and PhD Doctor Europaeus in Clinical and Experimental Oncology . His research is mainly focused in Thoracic Oncology. He has completed his training in Spain and at Phase I MD Anderson, USA. He is the Head of Phase I – Early Clinical Trials at Antwerp University Hospital in Belgium, and Professor in Oncology at Palermo University. Since was 2012 is Director of Clinical Trails Management Program in Oncology and Director of “Investigational Cancer Therapeutics Fellowship and Drug Development” at Antwerp University Hospital. Is working in Translational Research & Drug Development, Liquid Biopsies (exosomes and ctDNA). Is author of numerous papers including NEJM, Lancet Oncology, Oncotarget, JCO, Lung Cancer, etc. Is member of the educational committee of IALSC, officer at ESMO and ESCO Scientific board member. He is Deputy Editor of CROH and ESMO open editorial board.
Antwerp – Belgium
Francois P Duhoux, MD, PhD, is a medical oncologist at the King Albert II Cancer Institute of Cliniques universitaires Saint-Luc in Brussels, Belgium. He focuses on breast cancer and early drug development. He holds a degree in oncogenetics and is an internal consultant in the Center for Human Genetics. He is an Assistant Professor at Université catholique de Louvain and studies novel genetic factors predisposing to breast cancer. He is a board member of the Belgian Society of Senology and an active member of AACR, ASCO, BeSHG, BSMO, EORTC and ESMO. He has published over 30 articles in peer-reviewed journals.
Diego Tosi, MD, PhD, serves as Head of the Early Clinical Trial Unit at the Institut du Cancer de Montpellier (France). He graduated in 2000 from the University of Milan Medical School (Italy), where he trained on Medical Oncology, and obtained a PhD Degree in Cellular Biology from the University of Montpellier in 2016. His clinical research activity focuses on new drug development in solid tumors patients, and on monoclonal antibody pharmacology. He conducts an intense preclinical research activity, focused on rational development of drug combinations, mainly through tumor adaptive response analysis. Since 2011 he is program lead in the MAbImprove Consortium for the development of monoclonal antibodies.
Ali Shamseddine, MD, FRCP is a Professor of Medicine in Oncology, Head of the Department of Hematology- Oncology, Director of the data management and clinical research unit, and the Tumor registry at the Naef Basile Cancer center in the American University of Beirut Medical Center. His research focuses on Epidemiology, Gastrointestinal and Urology cancers. He has over 180 articles in scientific journals and serves as a reviewer for many journals. Dr. Shamseddine lectured and chaired national and regional medical sessions. He was the past Chairman of the Hospital Committee on Cancer at AUBMC, and the past President of the Lebanese Society of Hematology.
Beirut – Lebanon
Luis Teixeira is a Medical Oncologist at Saint Louis Hospital (APHP) in Paris, France. He is Associate Professor of Medicine at the Université Paris Diderot in Paris. As a clinician, Dr. Teixeira has an important clinical activity in the treatment of solid tumors, in particular breast cancer. He also takes an active part in the development of new drugs (cytotoxics, molecular-targeted therapies, immunotherapy). Dr. Teixeira is member of several French and international scientific societies (GERCOR, UNICANCER, ESMO). He published more than 50 scientific publications in international journals.
Hôpital Saint Louis – Paris – France
Dr Peter Vuylsteke obtained his Medical Oncology degree at the University of Leuven, Belgium, and is active as an oncologist in CHU UCL Namur, Site St-Elisabeth, Belgium. His medical interests are in Breast cancer, Gynaecological cancer and affordable care.
He is a member of the steering committee of the EORTC breast Cancer trial group, member of the ESMO Faculty for Breast Cancer, and vice-president of the Belgian society of Medical Oncology.
CHU UCL Namur – Site St-Elisabeth – Belgium
Youssef Zeidan is the director of the radiation oncology training program at the American University of Beirut . He received his dual MD/PhD degree from the Medical University of South Carolina in 2009. This was followed by four years of residency training in Radiation Oncology at Stanford University (2010-2014) where he served as Chief resident (2013-2014). He was appointed as Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology at the University of Miami ( 2014-2016) where he directed the radiobiology program. Along with several other co-investigators, he authored more than 30 peer-reviewed publications in the field. This work was recognized by several grants and awards from the radiological society of North America (RSNA) and the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).
The driving force of the Oncodistinct Network is firmly its investigator’s think tank which brings innovative clinical research projects. To govern and manage the Network, the Oncodistinct steering committee has the responsibility of strategic decisions and is composed of one representative per Oncodistinct center. The Oncodistinct coordinating team carries on the decisions of the steering committee and the day-to-day management of activities is supported by research operational teams.
The Oncodistinct coordinating team is composed of six individuals selected by the steering committee: