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- Male life expectancy and the battle against prostate cancer
In the week that has seen the European Union mark three decades of action against cancer with a ceremony and high-level meeting in Luxembourg, a Prostate Cancer Awareness Day was held in the European Parliament, Brussels today (16 September).
The EU event represented the 30th anniversary of the Council conclusions of 1985, which paved the way for the first action at European level on cancer, and Lydia Mutsch, Luxembourg’s Minister for Health, alongside Vytenis Andriukaitis, the Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, opened the landmark meeting.
- White Paper launched to step up fight against pancreatic cancer
This week (15 September) sees the European Union mark three decades of action against cancer with a ceremony and high-level meeting in Luxembourg, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency. The event will represent the 30th anniversary of the Council conclusions of 1985, which paved the way for the first action at European level on cancer, and Luxembourg’s Health Minister Lydia Mutsch, alongside Health and Food Safety Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis will open the landmark meeting.
On the same day, the Brussels-based European Alliance for Personalised Medicine (EAPM) will launch a White Paper, in Aegina, Greece, as part of the ‘EUPancreas COST Action for an integrated European platform for pancreas cancer research’.
- 30 years and counting: Where next in EU’s battle against cancer?
Next Tuesday (15 September) will see the European Commission and the Luxembourg Presidency of the EU mark three decades of action against cancer with a ceremony and high-level meeting in the member state’s capital.
The event will represent the 30th anniversary of the Council conclusions of 1985, which paved the way for the first action at European level on cancer.
- Don’t let Europe’s health sail into the sunset
Today (9 September) the European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, delivered his ‘State of the Union’ address. In between declarations about the Union needing ‘more Europe’, as well as the occasional sea-faring metaphor, the president touched on points of particular interest to those in the health-care industries. “No wind favours he who has no destined port – we need to know where we are headed. It is time to speak frankly about the big issues facing the European Union,” he said.
Juncker went on to mention the “deeply political question, (of) whether you increase VAT on medicines in a country where 30% of the population is no longer covered by the public health system as a result of the crisis. Or whether you cut military expenditure instead.”
- Making the most of the personalised medicine revolution
Personalised (or precision) medicine is a fast-moving field that sees treatments and medicines tailored to a patient’s genes, as well as his or her environment and lifestyle. In a nutshell it aims to give the right treatment to the right patient at the right time, and can also work in a preventative sense. These cutting-edge sciences and ‘omics’ hit the news recently when the US’s President Obama launched the Precision Medicine Initiative earlier this year, sending dollar upon dollar in the direction of research, clinical trials and DNA sequencing. Unfortunately, because we are only at the beginning of the personalised medicine revolution, it is less wide-spread than it could and should be. It is also currently less precise than it will be in the future.
- Four ‘tensions’ for personalised medicine to ease
In the world of health care, personalised medicine is gaining ground at a grass-roots level among health-care providers and, indeed, among patients too. But there are still plenty of barriers, or ‘tensions’. Many common, chronic diseases are progressive in nature, some of whose progression can be slowed or stopped by appropriate care before they go too far to be effectively treated. Obviously, a progressive disease does the patient no good whatsoever, and such a state of affairs is also expensive down the line, as more intensive treatment will be necessary.
- Effective and affordable cancer treatments are one step nearer
Scientists are getting very excited about immuno-oncology (I-O) which its proponents say will revolutionize cancer care. A new class of drug has arrived that is designed to encourage the body’s own immune system to attack malignant cells.
The World Health Organization has predicted that the number of people dying from cancer will rise from 8.2 million in 2012 to 14.6m in 2035, yet these treatments are already coming up with the goods even in advanced melanoma and lung cancer.
- Changing times call for changing relationships
It’s a fast-changing world, especially in health. And, arguably, the rise of personalised medicine – which aims to give the right treatment to the right patient at the right time – is only being outstripped in this arena by the rise of new digital tools and technologies.
The Brussels-based European Alliance for Personalised Medicine (EAPM) believes that, given the arrival of smartphones and other devices that can produce diagnostic results, plus smart pill-boxes that remind us to take our medication and wearables that monitor everything from our heartbeat to our blood pressure, medicine is on its way to becoming more democratized.