On 12 March 2022, EU40 partnered with the Swedish Pavilion to host an important and highly informative event on the European Union’s approach to confronting the societal burden of cancer. An expert panel representing political, academic and industry spheres addressed a number of key priority areas. Nadine Hani of Al Arabiya News hosted the event live from the Dubai Expo 2020.
The objectives of the panel were to explore the next steps in implementing and delivering the vision of Europe’s beating cancer plan and other key initiatives. Moreover, the importance of collaboration in the cancer community, and how healthcare systems can better adopt innovation was also discussed.
Let’s take a look at the highlights below.
Commissioner-General Jan Thesleff (seen above) provided opening remarks to kickstart the discussion. He spoke of the current difficulties facing Europe today during times of war and conflict, and stressed how only intense international cooperation and coordination can lead to lasting positive results. Thesleff drew parallels with the fight against cancer, emphasizing how a similar approach was required, if significant progress was to be made.
Alessandra Moretti MEP, Member of the European Parliament Special Committee on Beating Cancer (seen above), in her contributions, outlined her political work in the European Parliament on cancer policy. Ms. Moretti noted: “I do believe the fight against cancer must be a comprehensive effort, as cancer is a multi-factorial disease. We need to think about the cancer plan as a cross-sectorial engagement of public authorities across all policies.” For Moretti, coordination is a key priority. She also stressed the importance of the subsidiarity principle and social equality in terms of access to healthcare.
Dr. Bettina Ryll, Founder of the Melanoma Patient Network Europe, and Former member of the EU Cancer Mission Board (seen above), spoke of the critical necessity to integrate research and healthcare. She also spoke of the EU subsidiarity principle, and how cooperation at different levels of government could be worked upon and improved. Thoughts on patient equity and the innovation ecosystem were also voiced.
Dr. Solange Peters, President of European Society for Medical Oncology (seen above), in her contributions, outlined the beating cancer plan in greater detail. In this regard, she noted how molecular characterization of cancers is likely one of the most important topics in the field, going on to describe how this represented the largest portion of biomarkers used in daily practice to guide treatment decisions. She also stressed the importance of diversity, patient equity, sustainability, and greater cooperation with the pharmaceutical industry.
And lastly, Mr. Greg Rossi, PhD, Head of Europe and Canada Oncology, AstraZeneca (seen above), in his contribution, the need for collaboration on adoption of biomarkers in clinical practice, and keeping a focus on early detection, was likewise stressed. Moreover, the integration of research and healthcare, and issues surrounding unequal access to cancer healthcare were also raised. For Rossi, testing, targeted treatment, and data were key. He also highlighted the important work in liquid biopsy, which is an early cancer detection technology, noting just how transformational it may be.
This event was funded by AstraZeneca, who collaborated with EU40 in the development of the event concept and agenda. Please view below for the full video recording, and we hope you will join us again in the future.