New research centre to improve cancer diagnosis

The Centre for the Study of Haematological Malignancies aims to diagnose cancers of blood, bone marrow and lymph nodes, as well as boosting education and research.

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One of the Centre’s goals was to gather a multi-disciplinary team of scientists to combine their expertise in fulfilling the goals of the Center. From left: Dr Katerina Nicolaou (cancer molecular biologist), Dr Laura Koumas Lioliou (immunologist), Dr Paul Costeas (project coordinator, geneticist), Dr Vicky Nicolaidou (cellular biologist), Dr Katerina Mbarpouti (clinical haematologist), Maria Kleopa (biologist), Menelaos Manoloukos (molecular biologist), Andri Mitsidou (biologist), Dr Jason Chi (molecular biologist). One of the Centre’s goals was to gather a multi-disciplinary team of scientists to combine their expertise in fulfilling the goals of the Center. From left: Dr Katerina Nicolaou (cancer molecular biologist), Dr Laura Koumas Lioliou (immunologist), Dr Paul Costeas (project coordinator, geneticist), Dr Vicky Nicolaidou (cellular biologist), Dr Katerina Mbarpouti (clinical haematologist), Maria Kleopa (biologist), Menelaos Manoloukos (molecular biologist), Andri Mitsidou (biologist), Dr Jason Chi (molecular biologist).

Cancer patients and medics are the first to gain from improved diagnostic tools and focused research at a new centre specialised in haematological malignancies.

Biggest cause of cancer deaths in young

With leukaemia causing more deaths than any other cancer among children and young people under 20, there was a clear need in Cyprus for a centre capable of offering an integrated service to diagnose haematological malignancies, including leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma.

The new Centre for the Study of Haematological Malignancies (CSHM) responds to this exact need, as well as providing a platform for research and scientific advancement in the field of hemato-oncology.

The Centre’s parent organisation is the non-profit Karaiskakio Foundation, founder of the Cyprus Bone Marrow Donor Registry, which has more than 100 000 registered volunteer donors, an advanced immunogenetics laboratory and a Molecular Hematology Laboratory, which conducts molecular investigation of hematological malignancies.

Laboratory support for patients

The CSHM aims to provide comprehensive laboratory support to patients suffering from haematological malignancies. It also acts as a hub for research and expertise in haemato-oncology, collaborating with world-leading institutions to offer state-of-the-art techniques to improve the diagnosis, therapy and monitoring of disease progression in patients.

The Centre also aims to create the first national registry of haematological malignancies, collecting clinical and diagnostic information in a systematic manner to serve as an open-access scientific resource and research tool.

“The pace of progress in biomedicine in the last few decades has been breathtaking,” says geneticist Dr Paul Costeas, who coordinated the project to set up the CSHM. “A vast body of scientific work in the field of haemato-oncology has advanced our understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of hematological malignancies and extended our ability to diagnose, classify and treat these disorders.”

New opportunities for biomedical scientists

A central goal of the new establishment will be the recruitment, training and mentoring of new scientists and students. Cyprus offers few opportunities to biomedical scientists due to a lack of infrastructure for research advancement, resulting in a long-standing ‘brain-drain’ to other countries in Europe and North America.

It is hoped that the CSHM can help generate a critical mass of scientific activity to stem this exodus. It will host postdoctoral trainees and graduate students, and establish a structured educational programme for medical and scientific staff.  This should generate a strong impetus for the pursuit of cutting-edge research, and raise the profile of Cyprus in the field of biomedicine.


Total and EU funding

The total costs of the project “The Centre for the Study of Haematological Malignancies (CSHM)” amounted to EUR 1 999 978, to which European Union’s European Regional Development Fund contributed EUR 1 299 985 (65 %) through the Cyprus “Sustainable Development and Competitiveness” Operational Programme for the 2007-2013 programming period.


Draft date

30/07/2013