HOPE was invited on 20 September 2018 to the first iPAAC stakeholder forum organised in Brussels to present the Joint Action and its Work Packages and introduce the key deliverable, i.e. the Roadmap on Implementation and Sustainability of Cancer Control Actions. 44 partners of 24 EU countries are participating.
The Stakeholder Forum brings together iPAAC’s collaborating partners, representing related projects and initiatives. These annual meetings are meant to brief these partners on the project development and progress, to provide input that can support the project and to exchange views and comments on the various iPAAC deliverables
The first session was focusing on Genomics in cancer control and care – the way forward (Work Package 6) with an introduction by Marc Van den Bulcke, Sciensano. This work is linked to the previous joint action CANCON and the note on personalised medicines adopted by the Member states. It is developing practical guidance for member states to deal with « direct to consumer », education and training of on genomics of health professionals. The Belgian example of roadbook for implementation of next generation sequencing in clinical practice in oncology and hemato-oncology was presented. The next steps are to provide an overview of other examples (Genomics England, SIENNA, etc).
The second session 2 was on Innovative therapies in cancer (Work Package 9) presented by Muriel Dahan, French National Cancer Institute. This work package is working on multiple innovations and in particular on innovative immunotherapies and biomarkers associated with them dealing with the challenges associated with car-T cells. The aim is to map existing guidelines and reference frameworks, identify and validate predictive biomarkers for response, resistance or toxicity, identify tool for real life monitoring of innovative treatments. In addition, work package 5 is running a survey on perception of attitudes at European level concerning prevention and screening. Work package 10 is focusing on governance of integrated care and comprehensive cancer care. Its aim is to develop practical instruments.
Expectations and remarks from the Commission side concluded the day. Future joint actions should show they have an impact on people. DG RTD and DG SANCO will co-manage the research activities. A steering group will prioritise new policies then to help member states doing it, transfer of good practices. There is already a best practice portal still at pilot level with simple criteria than there is an evaluation. It is not only to inform but to transfer. There will be work on what could be implemented and not only pilots.
The general objective of the iPAAC Joint Action (JA) is to develop innovative approaches to advances in cancer control. The innovation that will be covered within the JA consists of further development of cancer prevention, comprehensive approaches to the use of genomics in cancer control, cancer information and registries, improvements and challenges in cancer care, mapping of innovative cancer treatments and governance of integrated cancer control, including a new analysis of National Cancer Control Plans. The key focus of the Joint Action will be on implementation, reflected in the key deliverable: the Roadmap on Implementation and Sustainability of Cancer Control Actions, which will support Member States in implementation of iPAAC and CANCON recommendations. This Joint Action aims to add value at the EU level by enhancing collaboration in the field of cancer with extensive exchange of good practices, successful implementation of different programmes and gradual reduction of the cancer burden in Europe and the world.
A key added value of the iPAAC Joint Action will therefore be support for Member States in implementing recommendations from the iPAAC and CANCON JA at national, regional and local levels. Additionally, iPAAC will provide better efficacy for dealing with neglected cancers, through development of new key indicators to assess clinical patient pathways and health care related costs of cancer and its interventions, particularly in the case of pancreatic cancer.