As leader of the European Partnership for Action Against Cancer’s work package on Research Coordination, ECCO brought cancer researchers, patients, funders, industry and policymakers together in a meeting in Brussels to discuss concrete steps to improve cancer research coordination in Europe.
Panel discussions set the scene for interactive sessions on novel approaches to this long-standing question, with a focus on two possible areas for future coordination actions: a European public-private partnership in early clinical research and a European platform for outcomes research. Member States present were asked to indicate how their organisation could play a role in driving forward such coordination.
Agnes Buzyn, President of France’s Institut National du Cancer stated that increased cooperation is not an option but rather a necessity for the future, given the pressures on healthcare systems and the need to avoid dispersion of resources. There will be challenges and limitations inherent in the process, and ambitious, yet realistic goals which provide sustainable solutions, should be sought whilst respecting the priorities and readiness of each country. A bottom-up process of coordination should be developed through two pilot projects which will be further developed during the course of the work package.
Julio Celis, Chairman of ECCO’s Policy Committee, stressed that in order for the work package to go forward, support from Member States is needed, in particular through participation in the pilot projects. A strong consensus on the need for further research in prevention was reached, so along with the two pilot projects set out during the meeting, prevention research will be considered a further pilot project.
ECCO is proud to lead the way in optimising cancer research coordination in Europe, and is reaching out to Member States who were not present at the meeting to inform them of the discussions and invite them to be part of the process.
The results of the Research Forum will be translated into concrete mechanisms to improve cancer research coordination, to be discussed at the next meeting of the work package, organised by the French Institut National du Cancer on 18 and 19 October in Paris.
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