Prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment enhancement through the power of big data in Europe


Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men, and accounts for 9 % of all cancer deaths in men. Currently, it is hard to predict which patients will respond best to different treatments, and which patients can be managed safely without undergoing treatment. The aim of PIONEER is to use big data to address key knowledge gaps related to the screening, diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer patients. To do this, they will standardise and integrate existing ‘big data’ from sources such as clinical trials and electronic health records into a single, innovative data platform. The project will draw on this database to identify ways to improve prostate cancer outcomes and health system efficiency. The project will apply FAIR (‘findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable’) principles to the data. Ultimately, the project results should feed back into clinical centres so that patients can benefit from the best possible care.

PIONEER is part of IMI’s Big Data for Better Outcomes (BD4BO) programme.

Achievements & News

First batch of real-world data from prostate cancer studies added to big data platform

The first two datasets have been added to the PIONEER big data platform, a major milestone for the IMI project. The researchers want to use real-world data from well-known prostate cancer studies to answer some vital questions about the disease. ###The first question they hope the data will help answer concerns the kind of variables that affect the prognosis for prostate cancer patients.

The two datasets will be followed by more; other partners are poised to add another 22 anonymised datasets to the platform, and PIONEER hopes that other data custodians, both private and public, will be encouraged to contribute. The ultimate aim is to improve the health and social care for all prostate cancer patients and their families.

Analytics will be run over the lifetime of the project to account for new and updated datasets. Both the OMOP/OHDSI platform for population-based registries and epidemiological research and the PIONEER omics analysis platform for cohort and clinical trial data were set up by The Hyve, a partner in the project.

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EFPIA companies
  • Astellas Pharma Europe BV, Leiden, Netherlands
  • Astrazeneca AB, Södertälje, Sweden
  • Bayer Aktiengesellschaft, Leverkusen, Germany
  • Ims Information Solutions Medical Research Limited, London, United Kingdom
  • Janssen Pharmaceutica Nv, Beerse, Belgium
  • Labcorp Early Development Laboratories Limited, Harrogate, United Kingdom
  • Nv SAS Institute SA, Tervuren, Belgium
  • Orion Oyj, Espoo, Finland
  • Sanofi-Aventis Recherche & Developpement, Chilly Mazarin, France
Universities, research organisations, public bodies, non-profit groups
  • Association Eisbm, Vourles, France
  • Erasmus Universitair Medisch Centrum Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • European Alliance for Personalised Medicine, Maribor, Slovenia
  • European Organisation For Research And Treatment Of Cancer Aisbl, Brussels, Belgium
  • Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e.V., München, Germany
  • Goeteborgs Universitet, Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf Ev, Dresden, Germany
  • Imperial College Of Science Technology And Medicine, London, United Kingdom
  • King'S College London, London, United Kingdom
  • Lunds Universitet, Lund, Sweden
  • Stichting Radboud Universitair Medisch Centrum, Nijmegen, Netherlands
  • Tampereen Korkeakoulusaatio Sr, Tampere, Finland
  • Technische Universitaet Dresden, Dresden, Germany
  • The University Court Of The University Of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, United Kingdom
  • Universita Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Milano, Italy
  • Universitaetsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany
  • Weizmann Institute Of Science, Rehovot, Israel
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and mid-sized companies (<€500 m turnover)
  • Ihe, Institutet For Halso- Och Sjukvardsekonomi Aktiebolag, Lund, Sweden
  • International Consortium For Healthoutcomes Measurement LTD, London, United Kingdom
  • Pinsent Masons Llp, London, United Kingdom
  • Stichting European Urological Foundation, Arnhem, Netherlands
  • The Ecancer Global Foundation, Bristol, United Kingdom
  • The Hyve BV, Utrecht, Netherlands
  • Ttopstart BV, Bilthoven, Netherlands
Patient organisations
  • European Cancer Patient Coalition, Brussels, Belgium

NameEU funding in €
Association Eisbm758 200
Cancer Intelligence Limited (left the project)12 121
Erasmus Universitair Medisch Centrum Rotterdam415 349
European Alliance for Personalised Medicine180 000
European Cancer Patient Coalition69 994
European Organisation For Research And Treatment Of Cancer Aisbl16 000
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e.V.125 000
Goeteborgs Universitet150 650
Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf Ev101 300
Ihe, Institutet For Halso- Och Sjukvardsekonomi Aktiebolag175 000
Imperial College Of Science Technology And Medicine200 000
International Consortium For Healthoutcomes Measurement LTD31 250
King'S College London359 000
Lunds Universitet185 761
Pinsent Masons Llp188 800
Stichting European Urological Foundation797 439
Stichting Radboud Universitair Medisch Centrum124 922
Stichting Radboud Universiteit (left the project)25 078
Tampereen Korkeakoulusaatio Sr212 500
Technische Universitaet Dresden125 000
The Ecancer Global Foundation37 333
The Hyve BV400 000
The University Court Of The University Of Aberdeen409 303
Ttopstart BV237 500
Universita Vita-Salute San Raffaele312 500
Universitaetsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf150 000
Weizmann Institute Of Science200 000
Total Cost6 000 000