In the following, we are pleased to provide an overview of projects with EURAMED involvement.

CONCERT, the European Joint Programme for the Integration of Radiation Protection Research, under Horizon 2020 aimed to contribute to the sustainable integration of European and national research programmes in radiation protection. CONCERT as a co-fund action strove to achieve the attraction and pooling of national research efforts in radiation protection with EURATOM research programmes in order to make better use of public R&D resources and tackle common European challenges in radiation protection more effectively by joint research efforts in key areas. In order to rise to this challenge CONCERT operated as an umbrella structure for the research initiatives of the radiation protection research platforms MELODI, ALLIANCE, NERIS, EURADOS and EURAMED.

EURAMED became a beneficiary of the project after its establishment as a legal entity in early 2018, was represented on the management board, and contributed to the medical aspects of the project. The EC reviewed the project’s progress and achievements on 27 March 2019, finding exceptional results. The project ended in 2020 with the delivery of a joint roadmap for radiation protection research.

For more info, please visit the project website.

The MEDIRAD project studied the implications of medical low-dose radiation exposure. It aimed to enhance the scientific base and clinical practice of radiation protection in the medical field and thereby address the need to better understand and evaluate the health effects of low-dose ionising radiation exposure from diagnostic and therapeutic imaging and off-target effects in radiotherapy. MEDIRAD brought together over 70 scientists from 34 organisations in 14 countries and significantly improved our scientific understanding and practice of radiation protection in the medical field. EURAMED was a member of the project stakeholder board, attended the annual consortia meetings to comment on research work and project progress from a stakeholder perspective, and was involved in the development of science-based policy recommendations. Key results include:

  1. Tool to determine image quality to maximise optimisation of RP in medical imaging
  2. First European imaging and dose repository
  3. Standardised quantitative I-131I imaging for dosimetry
  4. Dose calculation tools for CT scanning and molecular radiotherapy
  5. Prediction model to assess risk of acute coronary events after RT in individual breast cancer patients based on 3D cardiac dose distributions
  6. Identification of important cardiac imaging and circulating biomarkers of radiation-induced cardiovascular changes after breast RT
  7. Identification of potential biomarkers of susceptibility to low-dose-radiation-induced cancer
  8. New multinational cohorts of breast cancer patients
  9. Extended follow-up of key EPI-CT cohorts of patients with paediatric CT scanning

Based on MEDIRAD’s research findings, a set of consensus recommendations was developed in collaboration with a broad range of stakeholders to address the scientific and clinical communities and policy makers, encourage professional/regulatory guidance, follow up research activities as well as to ensure that the research findings and tools developed under MEDIRAD are taken up in clinical practice to benefit Europe’s patients.

For more info, please visit the project website.

The 3-year EURAMED rocc-n-roll project proposes an integrated and coordinated European approach to research and innovation in medical applications of ionising radiation and related radiation protection based on stakeholder consensus and existing activities in the field (incl. existing SRAs of radiation protection platforms, EC health and digitisation programmes, EURATOM-funded projects, and the SAMIRA initiative). To achieve this, research and radiation protection needs in the clinical disciplines using ionising radiation will be analysed with the aim to generate the largest benefit for the European population in an equal, safe and high-quality way throughout Europe by fostering clinical translation while also strengthening economic growth and industrial competitiveness.

The project kicked off in September 2020. It involves 29 project partners from 17 countries and is coordinated by EIBIR with Prof. Christoph Hoeschen (DE) acting as Scientific Coordinator and Prof. Guy Frija (FR) as Clinical Coordinator. EURAMED chairs the project advisory board and is involved in various project panels. Moreover, EURAMED members are directly involved as project beneficiaries.

For more info, please visit the project website.

The 4-year SINFONIA project will develop novel methodologies and tools that will provide a comprehensive risk appraisal for detrimental effects of radiation exposure on patients, workers, carers and comforters, the public and the environment during the management of patients suspected or diagnosed with lymphoma and brain tumours.

The project started in September 2020. The multidisciplinary project consortium combines the expertise of 14 partners from 8 countries. It includes major universities, research institutes, hospitals and industry partners. SINFONIA is coordinated by EIBIR with Prof. John Damilakis (GR) acting as Scientific Coordinator. Many EURAMED representatives are directly involved in the project as beneficiaries and are responsible for the implementation of key deliverables.

For more info, please visit the project website. Read the latest project newsletter by clicking here.

The i-Violin project begins in 2022 to satisfy the clearly identified need to optimise and harmonise oncological imaging procedures in Europe and ensure their broad adoption. i-Violin aims to disseminate the image quality assessment tool developed in MEDIRAD for chest CT in hospitals throughout Europe and adjust it for imaging procedures in the abdominal and pelvic regions, for which no satisfactory tool exists. The outcome of available commercial software for evaluating patient-specific dose indicators will be cross-validated against more sophisticated dose-evaluation tools for determining organ doses dependent on patient parameters and image settings. Furthermore, only a combination of image-quality assessment and dose evaluation on the same patient images can allow patient- and indication-specific optimisation with respect to patient radiation protection. A European database will be established for CT images resulting from different imaging parameters, corresponding patient dose indicators and image quality indicators, and recommendations will be given for these approaches. Dissemination of i-Violin’s results to hospitals, policy makers, societies and other stakeholders will foster uptake of recommendations and education and training activities.

The project consortium includes 10 partners from 10 EU states, with EIBIR serving as project coordinator and Prof. Christoph Hoeschen (DE) as scientific coordinator.

For more info, please visit the project website.

In answer to the Euratom call NRT-01-09, the project PIANOFORTE will begin in 2022 to consolidate an EU-wide research and innovation community in the field of radiation protection to support the EU and national authorities, thus ensuring progress with new knowledge, innovative methods, technologies and skills to address current knowledge gaps, societal concerns and emerging issues. An integrated approach will exploit synergies between various areas of expertise, including cancer diagnosis and treatments; medical, industrial or environmental exposure; and emergency management in relation to accidents involving radiation, to maximise benefits and outcomes. The consortium, largely based on the integration effort accomplished by the radiation protection research community over the previous decade and supported within Horizon 2020 and EC/EURATOM research programme frameworks, will be under the leadership of the French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) and include many national radiation research and protection agencies and each of the MEENAS platforms. Always considering radiation safety, the vision supported by this partnership is to provide both a pan-European scientific and technological basis for a robust system of protection and more consolidated science-based policy recommendations to decision makers in many different fields and innovation in ionising-radiation-based medical applications combating cancer and other diseases by new and optimised diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. In the long term, these efforts will translate into additional or improved practical measures and improved scientific insights in view of better outcomes for patients suffering from cancer and the effective protection of the public, workers, patients and environment.

PIANOFORTE will build on the results of past (DoReMi, OPERRA, COMET, CONCERT) and current (EURAMED Rocc-n-Roll, MEDIRAD, HARMONIC, RadoNorm, SINFONIA) projects, particularly the recently published joint roadmap for radiation protection research of CONCERT. Seven work packages will fulfill the project tasks and objectives.

PIANOFORTE was introduced during the MEENAS webinar on May 6.