February 04, 2020
This World Cancer Day, EIT Health is showcasing five groundbreaking initiatives to help you stay optimistic and help to beat cancer.
World Cancer Day aims to save millions of preventable deaths by raising awareness and education about the disease and pushing for collective action. EIT Health, an EU backed network of health innovators showcases five reasons to be optimistic about the fight against cancer.
World Cancer Day: 5 reasons to stay positive about the future of cancer
Every nine seconds, there is a new cancer case diagnosed in the EU and it is currently the second leading cause of death following cardiovascular disease. In addition to the considerable impact on the lives of European citizens, cancer puts a huge strain on Europe’s health and social systems as well as the economy.
EIT Health plays a huge role in the funding and support of innovations in cancer research and treatment. EIT helps to fight the disease by connecting leading organisations from the worlds of business, research, education and healthcare delivery and providing funding and support to the most promising, cutting-edge solutions. EIT Health CEO Jan-Philipp Beck comments: “Innovation is key to the development of ground-breaking solutions to arm us in the fight against cancer.”
This World Cancer Day, EIT has highlighted five ground-breaking initiatives that could help change the future of cancer, including:

1) Artificial Intelligence is transforming diagnosis
The use of AI to diagnose and grade cancers have seen significant advances. Some of these advances have the potential to improve the detection and treatment of the disease.
OncoWatch, an EIT Health project, uses an AI system to diagnose prostate cancer, with accuracy that is equivalent to top experts in the field. In a study published in The Lancet Oncology, it was comparable with international, leading uropathologists in determining the Gleason score, the most important prognostic marker for prostate cancer.
The OncoWatch, therefore, has the potential to significantly reduce the workload of uropathologists, allowing them to focus on the most difficult cases and at the same time acting as a safety net to improve the standardisation of diagnoses. It also has the potential to speed up prostate cancer diagnostics and reduce the costs for healthcare services.
A first CE-marked product of OncoWatch is expected to launch in Europe by the end of the year.

2) A promising new cancer therapy is starting human clinical trials
The start-up, Peptomyc, supported by EIT Health is leading globally renowned research into an innovative new therapy which has the potential to transform cancer treatment for patients with many different types of cancer.
Their research into inhibiting a protein called Myc, which plays an important role in cancer cells’ survival and proliferation, showed that not only was it feasible to inhibit it, but in doing so it has a therapeutic impact against cancer without damaging healthy tissue.
Peptomyc is now completing the industrial production of their medicine and is planning to start human clinical trials in patients in 2020. Their research has since paved the way for many more groups around the world who are now developing their own Myc inhibitors.

3) A new blood test is improving the detection of prostate cancer so that it can be diagnosed earlier
Stockholm3, an EIT Health backed project, is a blood test that analyses five protein markers and over 100 genetic markers, along with clinical data, to accurately predict the risk of aggressive prostate cancer, providing an informative indication about whether a biopsy is needed.
It is currently used in clinical practice in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark and is in the process of expanding further across Europe and the rest of the world. Stockholm3 could potentially replace or complement the current PSA test, which can be unreliable, meaning that aggressive forms of prostate cancer can go undetected, thus missing the opportunity for effective early treatment.
Launching Stockholm3 in more markets provides the opportunity to reduce the number of men unnecessarily undergoing biopsy and treatment and identify aggressive cancers earlier which will help to boost survival rates and reduce healthcare costs.

4) We are using data to learn more about patient responses to new and emerging immunotherapies
Immunotherapy is a revolutionary approach to cancer treatment that helps your immune system fight cancer, but health professionals still don’t understand why some patients respond to it and others do not.
The EIT Health-backed project, I4PCM, that brings together several EU cancer care centres to improve the way they share data and thus improve personalised care. The project launched a central database or “Virtual European Cancer Institute” with collective information from the centres about clinical research and patient responses to these new immunotherapies.
By unifying efforts to pool information from their clinical, environmental, genomic, imaging and immune biology databases, the data sharing will help to transform clinicians’ and researchers’ approach to cancer research, thereby allowing a deeper understanding of immunotherapy responses than any single centre could achieve on its own.

5) New, non-invasive tests are being created for early intervention in the third most common type of cancer
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer in men and second most common in women, with 450,000 new patients in Europe annually. Even after successful tumour treatment, 50% of patients will develop colorectal liver metastases (CRLM), a severe and often fatal condition.
COLO-MET are developing a non-invasive and cost-effective urine test, which, combined with the blood test, can specifically detect CRLM, allowing early intervention of colorectal cancer and earlier treatment.
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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