The EORTC has been selected for membership in the European Union Expert Group on Cancer Control. This Expert Group assists the European Union Commission or Commission Services drafting legal instruments and policy documents, guidelines and recommendations on cancer control.
The expert group comprises Member States’ competent authorities, patients’ organizations in the field of cancer, European associations acting in the field of cancer prevention, European professional associations or scientific societies acting in the field of cancer, producers of products or service providers in the field of cancer, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
The Expert group will benefit substantially from the EORTC’s ability to not only articulate how the current cancer clinical trial landscape needs to adapt, but how these ideas can be put into action. Under the leadership of EORTC Director Denis Lacombe, the EORTC has championed the creation of SPECTA, Screening Patients for Efficient Clinical Trial Access, a collaborative network of key pan-European institutions that provides efficient access for patients to molecularly driven clinical trials, reliable and effective cancer management, innovative drug development, and efficient healthcare delivery for colorectal cancer, melanoma, lung cancer, brain tumors, and other diseases in development.
The EORTC has long recognized the complexity of cancer drug development and the need for collaborative expertise and has campaigned for new forms of partnership. A prime example of this is a novel conference, Innovation and Biomarkers in Cancer Drug Development, which will be a joint effort of the EORTC, the United States National Cancer Institute, and the European Medicines Agency.
On another front, the EORTC is harnessing European wide efforts to address issues related to cancer survivorship. Success in treating cancer has resulted in a large and rapidly increasing numbers of cancer survivors, and these cancer survivors can be faced with late adverse treatment effects, second malignancies, severe cardiovascular or other morbidities, societal discrimination, chronic fatigue or partial inability, acceptance for work, education, and insurance or credit history. In response to this, the EORTC has structured several Cancer Survivorship initiatives: creation of the EORTC Cancer Survivorship Task Force, hosting of the 1st EORTC Cancer Survivorship Summit, the first of which was held in January 2014, and the planning of a second summit for the Spring of 2016. These initiatives facilitate interaction between clinicians, researchers, social workers, patients, insurers, bankers and policy makers, address the situation and needs of cancer survivors, and guide future research and health policies in Europe.
John Bean, PhD
EORTC, Medical Science Writer