The Hellenic Cooperative Oncology Group (HeCOG) is a non-profit scientific organization, with members largely comprised of oncologists affiliated with hospitals across Greece and Cyprus. HeCOG undertakes a range of clinical and translational research targeting the development of novel therapies and personalized treatment. In collaboration with more than 20 affiliated clinical centers in Greece and Cyprus, HeCOG has also created a biobank for research purposes with thousands of DNA samples from cancer patients. In 2001, HeCOG was awarded by the Academy of Athens for its contribution in combatting cancer.
With exclusive SNF support, HeCOG is undertaking a study (CLIMEDIN) in 200 patients between the ages of 18 and 78 with inoperable non-small cell lung cancer in Greece and Cyprus. The three-year study will investigate the efficacy and safety of personalized therapies (chemotherapy, immunotherapy, or combinations thereof as well as targeted therapies), with goals of increasing survival and improving the patients’ quality of life. Treatment will be administered free of charge to all enrolled patients and Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) will be used to conduct genetic testing of tumors at the beginning of the study. Half of the study subjects will be randomized to receive supportive messages and have access to information exchange with medical teams via a digital platform; its impacts on patient wellbeing will also be measured.
Testing of biopsy material and blood serum will be conducted at the Laboratory of Molecular Oncology of the Hellenic Foundation for Cancer Research, located at the Medical School of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. A total of 19 clinical centers are participating in the study (11 from Athens, 2 from Thessaloniki, 2 from Patras, 1 from Crete, 1 from Larissa, 1 from Kavala, and 1 in Cyprus). Sixty patients have been enrolled to date, out of the targeted 200. The study is anticipated to be completed at the end of 2024; findings will be presented at international conferences and submitted for publication in international scientific journals.