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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 668596

ChiLTERN Newsletter 4

June 2017
Welcome to ChiLTERN's fourth newsletter, a monthly publication sent to the whole Project network. This is aimed at keeping everyone updated with the progress of the Project. With over 20 collaborators across the United Kingdom, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Poland, France, Norway, Sweden, Ireland and the Czech Republic, our comprehensive research programme is connected to the single largest clinical trial ever to be undertaken amongst the liver cancer paediatric population. Ultimately, ChiLTERN will aim to cure more children with liver cancer, expose fewer children to toxic chemotherapy and ensure their surgery is both effective and safe.
End of Reporting Period 1
ChiLTERN has made significant progress since the start of the contract back in January 2016. So, what have we achieved in our first 18 months?

In work package 1, all deliverable reports were produced, submitted and approved. There was an Autumn Project launch in Brussels that brought international collaborators together to find out about Project progress and plans for the future across all seven work packages. Focus has been predominantly on financial requirements of H2020, contractual and administrative activities, management structures, liaising with the European Commission and working with beneficiaries CINECA to set up an online ChiLTERN web community area. 

Pivotal to the ChiLTERN project, the PHITT trial set-up over the last 18 months has been the prime focus of busy colleagues involved in work package 2. Trial documents have been submitted and approved by UK authorities and the first UK sites will be open to recruitment in the next month. On 14th June, another UK Site Initiation Visit took place at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge. This is the second one so far and more are planned with other UK trial sites.

The PHITT trial team have distributed relevant trial documents to each National Coordinating Centre, so that each country can obtain their own regulatory approvals. PHITT case report forms (CRFs) are being finalised to incorporate requirements of surgery, radiology and pathology and to correspond with data from the CHIC database. These will then help to further develop the Remote Data Capture (RDC) system by ChiLTERN beneficiaries CINECA. The majority of work package 2 deliverables have been submitted and approved.
Since the PHITT/ ChiLTERN pathology meeting, the WP3 team have focused part of their effort in establishing the sample workflow and linking it into the PHITT RDC system. Samples for biology studies will be centralized in the European Childhood Liver Cancer Network (CLCN) bio-repository at IGTP, located in Barcelona except for German samples that will be stored in the University of Bonn. Samples for pathology studies will be centralized to the University Medical Center (UMC) in Utrecht with the exception of German samples that will be stored in the University of Kiel. Most of the hard work of this month has been allocated to finalising the questionnaires to build the PHITT RDC system in order to be able to submit Deliverable D3.2 on-time to the European Commission. Frequent conversations have been maintained with CINECA to design an easy and user-friendly database containing all relevant information for the trial. The screenshot below shows the appearance and layout of the RDC system.
Work package 4 colleagues are finalizing the Memorandum of Understanding to allow inclusion of the Project data into the CHIC study.

During the first year, work package 5 collaborators have produced a definition of common protocols for cross section imaging analysis of POST-TEXT III and IV Hepatoblastoma. This is essential for a standardized evaluation of tumors in order to be able to achieve comparable results for data processing and analysis. An international panel of experts has been created for the evaluation of imaging data and clinical cases and an information package has been prepared containing all necessary details for the local centres to be able to participate in the clinical evaluation. Work with MeVis Medical Solutions AG has helped establish a web-based surgical review platform for the participating local centres from all over Europe. This is a deliverable of the Project and has recently been submitted on time.

Preliminary discussions in work package 6 regarding toxicity biomarkers with collaborative partners in the US have taken place and the key objectives and sampling details agreed. A fully validated cisplatin pharmacokinetic assay has been developed, completed and signed-off. Standard operating procedures for the standardised collection of clinical samples and sample analysis are in place for the UK so WP6 is ready to receive samples once the PHITT trial is open to recruitment. All deliverables not reliant on the trial opening have been met on time.    

Work package 7 has focused on the dissemination of ChiLTERN information to all Project stakeholders. In addition to the internal web community area, the ChiLTERN website was set up in October 2016 and is currently under further development.  Deliverables – D7.2 Publication Policy and D7.1 Dissemination and Communication Plan were uploaded and submitted on time. Once the trial is open, there will be an increase in communication activities, not just to peers but to all audiences to show how the fantastic work of ChiLTERN is impacting on society and people’s lives.  It was fantastic to see ChiLTERN’s Twitter activity increase during the WP3 pathology meeting in Utrecht as new followers joined us.  The first monthly ChiLTERN newsletter was sent out to all Project contacts at the beginning of March and this will produce another channel of communication for advocating the success of the Project.

Well done to everyone who have been involved so far and thanks for all your hard work!
Project Management
Dates for the diary
  • The EU Reporting Period 1 ended on 30th June 2017.  We now have 60 days to submit the 1st periodic report (deadline 29th August). Please ensure beneficiary reports are complete and sent to work package leads so that they can collate progress for the technical report. Lou Woodall will be in touch with all beneficiaries about completing their financial report. 
  • SAVE THE DATE: There will be a full ChiLTERN meeting on Wednesday 29th November 2017 in Brussels. This will provide an opportunity for all ChiLTERN colleagues to meet, discuss PHITT and update on Project progress. More information will be available soon  and will be posted in the Meetings section of the project website.  
ChiLTERN website
The ChiLTERN website allows us to show the general public that our research and innovation will impact on society and people's lives. Please keep the web pages active by getting in touch the Project Team at with news updates, meetings or other useful information. 
ChiLTERN on Twitter

@chilterncollab has 22 followers this month. As ChiLTERN progresses, social networking will allow the Project to globally expand its audience as part of the communication and promotion activities within work package 7. Please encourage others to follow @chilterncollab to showcase how our work together is achieving more than otherwise possible.  
If you have any news that you would like to be included in the next ChiLTERN newsletter, please get in touch with Louise Woodall by email at by Thursday 20th July 2017.

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