ECC 2013: Growing Patient Advocacy Efforts in Europe

ECC 2013: Growing Patient Advocacy Efforts in Europe

 In Advocacy Relations

At the end of September, JPA attended the 2013 European Cancer Congress (ECC) in Amsterdam, hosted by the European CanCer Organisation (ECCO), the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) and the European SocieTy for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO). Researchers, medical professionals, members of industry and patient advocates from more than 120 countries were in attendance at this leading European medical meeting — sharing knowledge, promoting education and building awareness for the state of oncology in Europe.

A focus on patient advocacy

An important aspect of ECC 2013 was its full “Patient Advocacy & Ethics” meeting track that engaged patient advocates with sessions focused on progress in cancer research, treatment, advocacy and care. Though there were limitations for non-prescribers in accessing the exhibition hall due to national regulations, more than 70 patient advocates attended the sessions where discussions centered on topics such as clinical research, quality of life and palliative care, personalized medicine and survivorship.

In addition, over 10 patient advocacy groups highlighted the work they are doing to support patients through presentations and display booths, showing the continued increase in efforts across Europe by patient advocacy organizations big and small.

Collaboration is key

A large focus of the sessions was the importance of collaboration across stakeholders to help shape the cancer journey from the beginning, and the growing involvement of patients in designing and implementing clinical trials. With increasing interest and sophistication from advocates regarding the clinical landscape, the medical community is learning more and more about patient perspectives.

Room for growth

Though there is still room for growth and greater collaboration, these types of multidisciplinary forums serve as an opportunity to highlight progress that’s been made, identify unmet needs and engage various stakeholders in the interest of improving the cancer patient journey.

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