Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Specialists’ call on MEP’s to improve childhood cancer treatment

29.10.2004


Europe should take all possible measures to enhance the existing collaboration between paediatric oncologists, both in the treatment and research of childhood cancers. Paediatric oncologists are concerned that current and proposed EU legislations could jeopardise this collaboration and, as a consequence, could impact on the provision of optimal treatment for children with cancer. This was the warning given at a Lunch Debate at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France (on Wednesday 27th October) organised jointly by Dr. Peter Liese, MEP, and the Federation of European Cancer Societies (FECS) and its society of paediatric oncologists (SIOPE).



“As cancers in young people are relatively rare, treatment requires a particular concentration of resources and expertise at EU level”, explained Prof. Michael Stevens of SIOPE. This is why paediatric oncologists have a long tradition of collaborating both in aspects of cancer care as well as in academic clinical research. However, they urgently need the support of the EU decision-makers to be able to continue this absolutely essential collaborative approach. Addressing an audience of MEP’s, European Commission officials, health professionals and journalists, Prof. Stevens described how, “although cancer under 18 years of age may be relatively rare, it is still the most common medical cause of death after the first year of life and occurs at a rate of about 175 cases per million young people (aged less than 18 years) each year and, cumulatively, the individual risk approaches 1:500 by the age of 18.” “For countries where the best survival rates of approximately 70% can be achieved, 1:700 young adults is a survivor of childhood cancer”. “Nevertheless, it is important to recognize that whilst there was, approximately, a 50% reduction in mortality in the years from 1970 - 1990, there has been a further reduction in mortality of only about 2% in the past 10 years”.

As a consequence of its low incidence and its unique biology, childhood cancers provide very different challenges to doctors and carers involved in treating the disease. However, with optimal treatment, significantly higher cure rates can be achieved in children than can be achieved for most forms of adult cancer. “To enable these cure rates to be widely achieved across Europe (rather than in a few countries only, as is presently the case) there need to be urgent changes made to a range of issues that currently hold back the progress of delivery of quality treatment for paediatric cancer across the entire European Union”, explained Prof. Stevens.


Three main areas where changes to legislation could lead to improved survival rates for children suffering from cancer have been identified:

1) Most of the drugs used to treat paediatric cancers do not have a licence for paediatric use and are out of patent. Clinical trials to establish valid safety and dose/schedule data for these existing drugs are of crucial importance. The current proposed regulation on “paediatric medicines” (adopted by the Commission in September 2004: http://pharmacos.eudra.org/F2/home/.html) is very much welcomed but focuses very much on products covered by a patent or a SPC but doesn’t foresee enough support for out of patent drugs and for academic research aimed at identifying the best therapeutic protocol. The EU urgently needs to allocate financial support to this type of research.

2) The enormous challenges raised by the EU Clinical Trials Directive, which doesn’t properly take into account the specificities, and the relevance to public health, of academic clinical research, jeopardise the future work of the already established network of paediatric oncologists involved in international collaborative clinical trials. MEP’s should raise, in their countries, the problems the Clinical Trials Directive will cause for academic clinical research and, if necessary, consider the need to re-open the Directive.

3) Improving collaboration between paediatric oncologists should also be addressed by suggesting changes to the structural organisation of care in Member States. This would lead to optimal treatments and better outcomes across Europe. Paediatric oncology experts recommend that the European Parliament includes in its resolution about the European Commission’s communication on “Patients’ mobility”, the concept of a feasibility study on “shared care” by which a “centre of reference” is responsible for diagnosis, treatment planning and some aspects of treatment delivery but where other aspects of care are delivered closer to home, under the guidance of the ’centre of reference’ and according to well established standard protocols, supported by robust staff education programmes and delivered in partnership with parents and carers.

Mrs. Marianne Naafs-Wilstra, speaking on behalf of the International Confederation of Childhood Cancer Parent Organisations (ICCCPO), endorsed these calls for action. “ Politicians should strive to ensure that all children with cancer receive the same diagnostic and therapeutic possibilities, and the same level of care, as is currently received by only a minority of children in the EU”.

“Immediate action to tackle these three areas is of paramount importance to improve the outlook for children with cancer all across Europe”, added Prof. Stevens. “The Federation of European Cancer Societies, ICCCPO and paediatric oncologists across Europe (through SIOPE) are united in asking for these concerns to be addressed at the highest level”.

Dr Stuart Bell | alfa
Further information:
http://www.fecs.be

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Hot cars can hit deadly temperatures in as little as one hour
24.05.2018 | Arizona State University

nachricht 3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>