About us

GYNOCARE is part of a European Collaboration in Science and Technology (COST) with the aim to focus on the development of new approaches to improve the diagnosis and treatment of rare gynecological tumors. 

The Memorandum of Understanding describes the goals of this COST Action and its future challenges with the aim to continue fighting against this rare cancer.


  • Coordination of information gathering on relevant basic/translational research lines and clinical trials within individual workgroups;
  • Coordination of common understanding in Gynaecological Rare Cancer research (Strategic lines);
  • Coordination of knowledge, best practices and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) needed for biobanking;
  • Coordination of knowledge needed and creation of SOPs for legal requirements to support international trials in rare cancers;
  • Coordination of resource access (i.e. databanks, trial plans) through international collaboration; and
    Coordination of knowledge sharing with private enterprises (future market applications).
  • Coordination of building collaborative model with industry for future market applications.
  • Dissemination of GYNOCARE’s outcomes to the relevant stakeholders (including general public, policy makers, regulators, industrial partners etc).

Rare Gynaecological Cancers

The primary challenge is definition of what truly constitutes a rare gynaecological tumour. The GYNOCARE consortium has agreed to focus on the list of rare gynaecological cancers as adapted from the WHO classification of tumors Editoral Board: Female Genital Tumours., IARC 2020 (WHO classification of tumors series, 5th ed.; Volume 4)

The standardization of clinical and histopathological guidelines when defining a rare gynaecological tumour is of paramount relevance both for the diagnosis itself, and for designing clinical trials for testing new therapies. Therefore, for both translational studies and clinical trials, pathology input is crucial to determine the diagnosis, using appropriate diagnostic criteria, including immunohistochemistry and, where appropriate, molecular testing.

Capacity Building

● Bridging separate fields of science to foster knowledge exchange (basic, translational, biobank, clinical trials);
● Connecting hypothesis-generation clusters of major stakeholders around specific research themes (i.e. involving industry, researchers and regulators into the design of research actions);
● Fostering knowledge exchange and development of (joint) research agenda (prioritisation of Strategic
Research lines);
● Fostering knowledge exchange and the development of join best practices for clinical trials and biobanking;
● Connecting the Action to existing and established clinical trial activities; and
● Fostering knowledge exchange and development of a Helpdesk for legal matters related to international trials and data sharing (under the to-be-established legal framework and GDPR).


GYNOCARE will interact with different stakeholders and also train the current and next generation of early researchers, and professionals by organising training schools, workshops, conferences and short term scientific missions (STSMs),

The quality of research in rare gynaecological cancer will be improved through this COST Action by:

  • advancing the state-of-the-art in the field of rare gynaecological cancer;
  • developing new less- or non-invasive diagnostic methods for an earlier diagnosis, as well as improving treatment of rare gynaecological cancer;
  • increasing the application of nanotechnology both in diagnosis and therapy; and
  • developing prospective databases with biobanking.

Click here for more details.

There are five working groups in the GYNOCARE COST Action, each with its own working group leader.

There are 30 participating countries (click here for the full list).

The step-by step instructions on how to join the GYNOCARE COST Action are available here:

How apply to join your Working Groups of interest  

In case of any questions, do not hesitate to contact the Action Chair, Prof Jean Calleja-Agius.

Working Group Leaders

Prof C. Simon Herrington

WG 1 Leader

Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre, UK simon.herrington@ed.ac.uk

Dr Sharon O'Toole

WG2 Leader

Trinity St James’s Cancer Institute, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland shotoole@tcd.ie

Dr Olga Tzortzatou

WG 3 Leader

Biomedical Research Foundation, Academy of Athens, Greece

Prof Antonio Giordano

WG 4 Leader

Sbarro Institute, Temple University, USA & University of Siena, Italy giordano12@unisi.it

Dr Klejda Harasani

WG 5 Leader

University of Medicine Tirana, Albania


Active Participants

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Klejda Harasaniklejda.harasani@umed.edu.al Albania
Cornelia Stumptnercornelia.stumptner@medunigraz.atAustria
Heidelinde FieglHeidelinde.Fiegl@i-med.ac.at Austria
Frederic Amantfrederic.amant@uzleuven.be Belgium
Tamara Visekrunatamara.visekruna@kc-bl.com Bosnia Herzegovina
Mariela Vasileva-Slavevasscvasileva@gmail.com Bulgaria
Angel Yordanovangel.jordanov@gmail.com Bulgaria
Maja Sabolmaja.sabol@irb.hr Croatia
Mirjana Stanic Benicmirji.stanic@gmail.comCroatia
Petar Ozretićpozretic@irb.hr Croatia
Olga Tzortatouotzortzatou@bioacademy.gr Greece
Kleopatra Alamantariotoukleopatra_80@hotmail.com Greece
Alexandros Dapontedapontea@otenet.gr Greece
Robert Pokapokar@med.unideb.hu Hungary
Sharon O'Tooleshotoole@tcd.ie Ireland
Neil Conlonneil.conlon@dcu.ie Ireland
Mark Wardwardm6@tcd.ie Ireland
John O'Learyolearyjj@tcd.ieIreland
James BeirneJBeirne@stjames.ie Ireland
David Faraggidfaraggi@univ.haifa.ac.il Israel
Valerio Napolionivalerio.napolioni@unicam.it Italy
Sara Casatisara.casati@bbmri-eric.euItaly
Antonio Giordanopresident@shro.org Italy
Francesca Pentimallifrancesca.pentimalli@gmail.com Italy
Myriam Perronemyriam.perrone@aosp.bo.it Italy
Gloria Ravegnini gloria.ravegnini2@unibo.it Italy
Eugenia De Crescenzo eugenia.decrescenzo@gmail.com Italy
Pier Andrea Deiacopierandrea.deiaco@unibo.it Italy
Silvana Urrusilvanaurru@gmail.com Italy
Jean Calleja-Agiusjean.calleja-agius@um.edu.mt Malta
Riccardo Di Fiorericcardo.difiore@um.edu.mt Malta
Sherif Suleimansherif.s.suleiman@um.edu.mt Malta
Mark Brincatmark.brincat18@gmail.com Malta
Ian Said HuntingfordIan.shuntingford@gmail.com Malta
Rachel Micallefrachel.a.micallef@gov.mt Malta
Kristel vonBrockdorffkristel-marie.von-brockdorff@gov.mt Malta
Yves MuscatBaronyves.muscat.baron@gov.mt Malta
Miriam Dalmasmiriam.dalmas@gov.mt Malta
Latasha Barbaralatasha.barbara.17@um.edu.mt Malta
Rita Micallefrita.t.micallef@gov.mt Malta
Bridget Ellulbridget.ellul@um.edu.mt Malta
Alex Felicealex.felice@um.edu.mt Malta
Joanna Vellajoanna.vella@um.edu.mt Malta
Charles Savona Venturacharles.savona-ventura@um.edu.mt Malta
Miriam Azzopardimiriam.j.azzopardi@gov.mt Malta
Lidia Ryabovalidia.ryabova@um.edu.mt Malta
Jantess Calleja jantess.calleja.12@um.edu.mt Malta
Apos Sarivalasisapostolos.sarivalasis@chuv.ch Malta
Vera Dimitrievskavdimitrievska@gmail.com North Macedonia
Babak Asadi Ababak.asadi@vid.no Norway
Yashwanth Subbannayyayashwanth.subbannayya@ntnu.no Norway
Maria Santosmariasantos@ff.ulisboa.pt Portugal
AnaMaria Felix de Campos Pintoana.felix@nms.unl.pt Portugal
Nuno Martinsnunonogm@gmail.com Portugal
Paul Kubelacpaulkubelac@yahoo.com Romania
Catalin Vladcatalinvlad@yahoo.it Romania
Patrick Achimaspatrick.achimas@hotmail.com Romania
Danica Cujicdanicac@inep.co.rs Serbia
Kristina Drusany Starictinaobgyn@yahoo.com Slovenia
Vita Andrea Mesaricvita-andreja.mesaric@mf.uni-lj.si Slovenia
David Llobet-Navasdllobet@idibell.cat Spain
Jose José Palacios Calvojose.palacios@salud.madrid.org Spain
Aymara Masamas@incliva.es Spain
Isabel Maria Gonzalez Cruzismar89@gmail.com Spain
Ghanam Khatibghanim.khatib@gmail.com Turkey
Gözde Yalcingozde.yalcin@erdogan.edu.tr Turkey
Ilker Kahramanogluilkerkahramanoglu@gmail.com Turkey
Sureyya Ozcansozcan@metu.edu.tr Turkey
Serbulent Unsalserbulentu@gmail.com Turkey
A. Elif Ersonerson@metu.edu.tr Turkey
Nicholas Reednicksreed@aol.com UK
Simon Herringtonsimon.herrington@ed.ac.uk UK
Marcia Hallmarcia.hall@nhs.net UK
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