Innovation in cancer care is about so much more than medicines. In recent decades, cancer care has seen improvements in:
- the speed and accuracy of diagnostic procedures;
- the effectiveness of surgery, radiation therapy;
- the power of information technology;
- and the development of multidisciplinary,
specialist-led approaches to care.
Cancer patients across Europe deserve access to all of these innovations and public debate is required on how these can be best ensured.
ECCO and its members have now set out a manifesto for improved access to innovation in a consensus paper published in the European Journal of Cancer.
The paper emphasizes that:
- Important innovations need not be complex or expensive. Modest or incremental practice changes can have transformative impact
- Structured pathways are required to regularise and systemise the introduction of innovation within health systems;
- There must be greater readiness to remove or discontinue practices or interventions that are inefficient;
- Patient benefit should be placed at the heart of any valuation of an innovation, giving adequate weight to quality of life and progression-free survival
- Real world data should be used to assess the benefit of innovations beyond the pharmaceutical domain, for example in relation to potential improvements delivered by innovations in surgical techniques, medical devices or new services
- The information provided to patients and healthcare professionals about ongoing and completed research should be improved
- The potential savings that certain innovations can create in the longer term for healthcare budgets and society should be better understood (e.g. in areas like psychosocial support)
- The sharing of registry data across countries should be improved via common protocols, structures and transparency
- A whole-system approach to innovation should be promoted via multi-disciplinary leadership (e.g. reviewing current practices and identifying improvement opportunities)
NEWS: ECCO on Access: it is about more than pharmaceuticals!
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