1. International Thymic Tumor Database
This project involves the collection of information about thymoma patients from all over the world for storage in a centralized database. This allows researchers to address specific research questions about these rare tumors using information from a large number of patients, something that is not possible without this resource. Support is needed to cover the administrative costs of development, implementation and maintenance of this database. The database is fundamental to most of the clinical and basic science efforts of ITMIG. The ongoing existence of this database would have a major impact in being able to secure research funding to address individual questions.
2. Thymic Tumor Tissue Bank
This project involves the collection and centralized storage of tumor tissue and blood samples from thymic tumor patients to enable researchers to perform laboratory research aimed at improving the diagnosis and treatment of thymic tumors. Without this resource, the type and scope of basic science research that is possible remains at the limited level that has been fusible in the past. Support is needed to cover the administrative costs of the tissue bank, ideally with enough funding so that banking does not have to be suspended whenever funding runs out. An expansion of the scope of the tissue bank will be undertaken if a significant increase in funding became available.
In order to achieve global collaboration greater consistency in the recording of patient and tumor characteristics and outcomes, ITMIG has established policies, definitions and standards in order to accomplish this. These materials must be disseminated, ideally as open access material across the world. Funding is needed to cover the publication costs of this initiative, and to make it freely available around the world.
4. Information Technology
ITMIG is working toward the ability to integrate information from a variety of sources so that it can be used optimally for the benefit of patients using an innovative platform known as HUBzero. Funding is needed to cover the costs of development, and funding is needed to cover the annual costs of maintaining the resource, and expansion of the scope if enough resources can be identified.
5. General Administrative Fund
Although the vast majority of ITMIG work is done by individuals who volunteer their time simply because they see the need and unique opportunity to make a difference, this does not cover all aspects. Support is needed to cover the administrative costs of keeping ITMIG running (costs of a project manager, conference calls, organization and development of materials to support the various projects etc.). Without this everything grinds to a minimal pace.
In order to achieve global collaboration, some face to face meetings are necessary. This includes the annual meeting and additional workshops, which are designed to accomplish specific infrastructure and research tasks. Grant and Industry support for such events has been difficult to obtain. Furthermore, making such meeting able to be accessed through the internet, in order to more broadly and efficiently link the global community together, have costs that must be covered. Most acutely, funding is needed to cover the costs of our annual meetings. The annual meeting provides ITMIG the opportunity to bring together leading experts in various disciplines from around the world to help support the mission of ITMIG which is to promote the advancement of clinical and basic science pertaining to thymic and other mediastinal malignancies and related conditions.