MD-Paedigree is a clinically driven and strongly VPH rooted project, that aims to validate and bring to maturity patient-specific computer-based of various paediatric diseases, making them readily ava
According to recent data from the World Health Organisation (WHO), the number of overweight infants and children in Europe rose steadily from 1990 to 2008. Childhood obesity is strongly associated with risk factors for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, orthopaedic problems, mental disorders, underachievement in school and lower self-esteem. To help fight these and other child diseases, the European Commission has awarded 12 million euros to a medical research project that will use mathematical models to improve the treatment of sick children.
The project, called MD-Paedigree, will provide decision support to medical professionals wherever they treat their little patients. Through disease simulations, sometimes requiring the availability of high performance and supercomputer resources, MD-Paedigree will improve the diagnostic precision of paediatricians and offer child-specific treatment choices for Europe’s children. Using MD-Paedigree, physicians will be able to select highly individualised treatment options, and receive on-the-spot support in predicting treatment outcome based on each patient’s personal medical data.
This will lead us into a future where child healthcare will become more effective, more personalised, and even more cost-effective.
Furthermore, there is also a strong ethical urge to foster such ground-breaking research: in future, new interventions, like a new drug or a modified procedure, can be preliminarily tested using such computer simulations. In line with this vision, MD-Paedigree will open up the prospect of initially exploring new treatment perspectives without or with only minimal testing involving live animals. In the longer run, it is to be expected that even first pre-clinical and phase I clinical trials may be substantially supported and accelerated, thereby massively reducing the risk to patients involved in such endeavours. Presently, e.g. very few new drugs are tested specifically for children – and MD Paedigree may open up a whole new perspective for paediatric research.
MD-Paedigree, which stands for Model-Driven European Paediatric Digital Repository is due to last 4 years, until 2017. It will concentrate on four paediatric disease areas (cardiomyopathies, obesity-related cardiovascular disease, juvenile idiopathic arthritis and neurological & neuromuscular diseases). The project consortium of 22 partners from 10 countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Romania, Switzerland, Netherlands, United Kingdom, USA) is coordinated by the Bambino Gesù Children Hospital in Rome and includes five other clinical centres from across the EU (Amsterdam University Hospital, Catholic University Hospital in Leuven, Giannina Gaslini Institute in Genoa, Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital in Utrecht). The 6 clinical centres are scientifically and technologically supported by Siemens and other industrial partners, research institutions and SMEs.