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Press Release

Global leaders in oncology convene at The Economist Events’ War on Cancer 2017 to explore developments in the patient’s journey

The Economist Events
Posted on: 23 Nov 17

23 November 2017: The Economist Events’ third annual War on Cancer 2017, held in London on Tuesday 21st November, was host to some of the highest profile leaders, industry representatives and policymakers in oncology globally. Discussions at the summit this year were focused around the patient and the impact cancer has on healthcare systems and broader society, as well as exploring new treatment options and how to pay for them.


Victoria Thomas, Head of Public Involvement at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, who spoke at the conference, said: “As cancer treatments advance it’s essential that we retain a focus on the issues of greatest concern to patients, whether it be the communication skills of their healthcare team, the logistical organisation of services, the right to discuss their treatment options, or ensuring researchers focus future trials on innovations for people’s unmet needs. Events such as War on Cancer, which literally put the patient centre-stage, are a crucial reminder to all those working in the field about what and who is most important.”


Vivek Muthu, Chief Health Adviser at the Economist Intelligence Unit, and Chair of War on Cancer 2017, said: This was our third London War on Cancer summit, in which we examined how we can meet the evolving needs of patients. We learned that good cancer care is not only about extending survival, but improving the lives and experiences of patients. It is about improving about early detection, about effective therapies, and about ongoing support and compassion. It is about helping patients to navigate a complex system of care; about symptom control, about complex emotions, about everyday practical matters, and about helping all patients to live well - be that in the context of long-term survivorship or at the end of life. By bringing together the key decision makers in cancer care, we examined ways to make these goals a practical reality. Common to all those solutions was the need for all stakeholders to work constructively together, to recognise that how we spend precious care resources matters as how much we spend, and to bring patients into the heart of decisions about policy and their own care”


The event, which included panels, interviews and the presentation of novel research from The Economist, offered thought-provoking, patient-focused commentary on the current and future outlook of cancer care. Topics covered included: first-hand patient testimonials; the role of government, policy and digitalisation in changing cancer care; distilling the taboo around palliation and end-of-life care; and innovation across the care continuum stemming from both the private and public sector.


Key speakers at the summit included:


  • Simon Stevens, Chief executive, NHS England
  • Jane Maher, Chief medical officer, Macmillan Cancer Support
  • Lieve Wierinck, Member, European Parliament (ALDE, Belgium)
  • Matti Aapro, Board member, ECCO - The European CanCer Organisation; European School of Oncology
  • Dusty Majumdar, Vice-president, IBM Watson Health
  • Ricardo Baptista Leite, Member of Parliament, Portugal and head of public health, Católica University of Portugal
  • Andreas Penk, Oncology regional president, international developed markets, Pfizer
  • Jan Geissler, Director, European Patients’ Academy on Therapeutic Innovation (EUPATI)
  • Francesco De Lorenzo, President, European Cancer Patient Coalition; President, Italian Federation of Volunteer Based Cancer Organisations
  • Cecilia Halle, Senior advisor and head of group, Public Health and Health Care Division, Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, Sweden
  • Victoria Thomas, Head of public involvement, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
  • Sukhveer Singh, Vice-president and general manager, Oncology Continuum Solutions, Varian Medical Solutions
  • Olivia Rossanese, Head of biology, Division of Cancer Therapeutics, The Institute of Cancer Research
  • Ali Stunt, Founder and chief executive, Pancreatic Cancer Action
  • Enrique Terol, Head, European Reference Networks and National Expert, European Commission DG Sante
  • Sarunas Narbutas, President, Lithuanian Cancer Patient Coalition and Co-Founder, Youth Cancer Europe
  • Neil Bacon, Founder and chief executive, iWantGreatCare
  • Suzanne Wait, Managing director, The Health Policy Partnership
  • Billy Boyle, Co-founder, Owlstone Medical
  • Vincent Keunen, Founder and chief executive, Andaman7
  • Sue Bourne, Producer and director, “A Time to Live”
  • Vivek Muthu, Chief health adviser, The Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Natasha Loder, Health-care correspondent, The Economist
  • Annie Pannelay, Principal, EIU Healthcare
  • Richard Sullivan, Director, Institute of Cancer Policy and co-director, conflict and health research program, King’s College


Tweet via @EconomistEvents #WaronCancer



Press enquiries



Rachael Alisedaghat, Rosie Phillips


Tel: +44 (0)20 3709 5700

Editor's Details

Mike Wood

Last updated on: 23/11/2017

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