Calcification and crystal deposition into the connective tissues is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease, also associated to aging, several chronic metabolic diseases and tumor malignancy and in rare inherited diseases. Initially considered as a passive, unregulated and degenerative dystrophic process, there is now evidence that this process is regulated.
Advances have been made in the understanding of these finely tuned biological mechanisms. However, discoveries remain to be made to provide efficient treatments to patients. Indeed, the study of these diseases is crucial for the understanding of the mechanisms of connective tissue calcification (CTC) but is hampered by the rarity of the cases and cohorts with limited access for researchers.Advances in the diagnosis, management and treatment of inherited CTC remain also a major drawback mainly because of the lack of training among both clinicians and patients.
In view of the different actors and their common objectives, creating a network would be the opportunity to build a community bringing together for the first time not only researchers and clinicians groups but also patients and patients’ associations, public institutions and industries through meetings, training schools, short term scientific missions and the use of social media in order to provide visibility, funding and advances in health management.
The objective of EuroSoftCalNet is to build a large European cohort to reach sufficient material and samples and subsequently improve the value of analysis consistent with statistical results. The aim of the action is also to put up a multidisciplinary network federating Researchers, Clinicians, Compagnies and Patients’ Associations to promote translational research on CTC
The EuroSoftCalNet COST action wishes to establish, consolidate and widen a multidisciplinary community bridging separate fields of science to achieve breakthroughs. Therefore, the objectives of the capacity building are:
- To strengthen the skills, competences and abilities of the CTC community;
- To support policy makers in the definition of new public policies addressed to the civil society;
- To create the conditions to support patients and patients' associations ability to participate in decisions affecting their disease and treatment.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No CA16115.