BECA holds public hearing on screening and early detection

On 18 March, the European Parliament Special Committee on Beating Cancer (BECA) held a public hearing, entitled ‘Saving lives and improving patient outcomes: Why screening and early detection of cancer matter’.

During the session, speakers underlined the importance of screening and early detection, and how tackling inequalities between and within countries remains crucial to increase survival rates and reduce treatment-related costs. The role of quality data was also cited as being central to improving cancer patient outcomes and it was noted that some Member States’ interpretation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules was resulting in a lack of cross-border data sharing.

The next BECA hearing, “Cooperation is strength: sharing knowledge and data, improving cross-border care to beat cancer”, will take place on 15 April.

IARC launches new data visualization tool for gastrointestinal cancers

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has launched a new data visualization tool for gastrointestinal cancers as part of the Cancer Stories portal on the IARC Global Cancer Observatory website. Cancer Stories are interactive stories telling cancer facts through visualizations. The new tool gives a broad overview of the global burden of gastrointestinal cancers and shows the trends related to colorectal cancer, such as differences in stage at diagnosis, outcomes, and predictions of the future burden of this disease.

Improving cancer care through broader access to quality biomarker testing

A recent report by International Quality Network for Pathology (IQNPath), European Cancer Patients Coalition (ECPC) and EFPIA presents the current status of biomarker testing in the EU27 and the UK and identifies key barriers to unlocking the potential of biomarker testing.

The report underlines that without adequate testing, it is impossible to harness the full benefits of precision medicine, which offers improved treatment outcomes for all cancer patients. Accordingly, short- and long-term policy recommendations are made to address the identified shortcomings and improve access to and quality of biomarker testing in oncology across Europe.