Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

EBCC calls for European countries to speed access to innovative advances for all breast cancer patients

24.03.2006


Breast cancer specialists and advocates at the 5th European Breast Cancer Conference (EBCC-5) called today for patients to have equal and speedy access to new breast cancer treatments and procedures, as soon as they are validated by comparative clinical trials.



Doctors and patient groups fear that women across Europe are not getting timely access to new drugs and devices that could help prolong their survival and well-being. Recent advances in intra-operative radiation therapy and reconstructive surgery to the breast have been made accessible quickly to women in the United States, but even getting on to the relevant clinical trial has proved almost impossible for their European counterparts.

Last year Italian and English studies demonstrated the feasibility of intra-operative radio- therapy. They found that delivering radiation directly to the open breast during surgery appeared to be potentially as effective as six weeks of external radiotherapy. Patients had their breast cancer surgically removed and their radiotherapy treatment all in one stay in hospital. The new treatment also limited radiation exposure to the rest of the patients’ skin and other organs, preventing further tissue damage. However, there are only a few centres across Europe that can carry out intra-operative radiotherapy and many patients cannot benefit from these advances. Patients are still facing long waiting times and have to travel long and tiring distances to radiotherapy centres.


The psychological impact of having a breast removed due to cancer has been well documented. However, new advances in reconstructive breast surgery can significantly improve a patient’s confidence and well-being; unfortunately these surgical techniques are not available to all European patients. Breast surgeons can now perform a mastectomy that removes the malignant tumour and surrounding breast tissue whilst sparing the nipple. Nipple saving surgery can vastly improve the look and feel of the breast and improve a patient’s self confidence.

Surgeons can now reconstruct a breast immediately after the cancer is removed using artificial implants or even the body’s own tissue (autologous tissue reconstruction) or a combination of tissue reconstruction and implants. Breast reconstruction is a complex procedure that needs to be performed by a skilled plastic surgeon, unfortunately not all patients have access to surgeons who can carry out these new techniques.

Another topical example of complexity in access to treatments is the case of the drug trastuzumab (Herceptin). Currently the drug is licensed by the EMEA (European Medicines Agency) for women with advanced stage breast cancer but not for those with the early stages of the disease. The recent results of four large clinical trials showed a significant reduction in breast cancer recurrence for women with HER2 positive breast cancer, when given the drug post-surgery. Breast cancer doctors claim that the results of the four trials are sufficiently compelling to recommend adjuvant trastuzumab as a standard option after surgery in appropriate patients. The lagtime between the announcement of the results of the clinical trials and the submission of the applications by the industry, the lack of clear definition of ‘appropriate patients’, the diversity of the national healthcare systems (even within the EU) and their heterogeneous policies of reimbursement may prevent hundreds of patients enjoying the benefits of this drug when they need it.

Dr Alberto Costa, President of the EBCC-5 conference comments, “Action needs to be taken so that women in different countries have equal and quick access to new and better treatments and procedures. It is regrettable that so many women are still not receiving the treatment that gives them the best chance of survival and best quality of life.”

EBCC-5 Press Office | alfa
Further information:
http://www.fecs.be/emc.asp?pageId=611&Type=P

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Light beam replaces blood test during heart surgery
28.02.2017 | University of Central Florida

nachricht Cells adapt ultra-rapidly to zero gravity
28.02.2017 | Universität Zürich

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: Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New technology offers fast peptide synthesis

28.02.2017 | Life Sciences

WSU research advances energy savings for oil, gas industries

28.02.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Who can find the fish that makes the best sound?

28.02.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>