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European cancer coalition led by EORTC calls for ‘Treatment Optimization’ to become an EU-wide parameter in novel cancer therapies development to improve outcomes in cancer treatment.

European cancer coalition led by EORTC calls for ‘Treatment Optimization’ to become an EU-wide parameter in novel cancer therapies development to improve outcomes in cancer treatment.


·         Cancer kills close to 2.2 million people in Europe in a normal year: a far-too-heavy toll when many of these deaths could have been prevented.

·         Across and within countries in Europe, there are significant differences in the use of novel cancer treatments impacting outcomes and inequalities in accessing life-changing treatments.

·         Treatment Optimization Manifesto calls on policymakers to ensure that all novel therapies are evaluated on a truly individual basis to ensure safety and critical quality of life, particularly in the case of rare tumours and specific populations such as elderly patients.


LONDON, February 2, 2022 - Ahead of World Cancer Day, Friday 4th March 2022, a coalition of 29 leading European cancer organisations led by The European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) is calling on the EU Institution and policymakers to reform EU-wide drug development to ensure that ‘Treatment Optimization’ is integrated into the development of all new cancer treatments to ensure a truly patient-centred approach to improve long-term survival rates.


Concerned stakeholders including research scientists, oncology professionals, patient organisations, pharmaceutical bodies, and health-tech industry bodies who lead vital European cancer research, treatment, and care provision, set out 6 essential policy recommendations, that are being neglected including optimal dosing, duration, sequence, combination, and quality of life.


Speaking about this manifesto, Denis Lacombe, CEO of EORTC said:


"Novel cancer treatments and technologies have the potential to create a paradigm shift in outcomes for patients living with cancer. However, we must urgently address critical shortcomings in how these new treatments are utilised in real-world conditions by clinical studies.


There are numerous drugs which have been authorised on the market, with limited knowledge on how to use them for dose, sequence, combination, and duration of treatment.


Sub-optimal administration of costly treatments may generate unnecessary toxicity for the patients, and negatively impacts national healthcare budgets. We need to investigate the optimal way to use new medicines by integrating ‘Treatment Optimization’.”


Treatment Optimization Manifesto recommendations:

1.       Ensure appropriate use of treatments is essential for optimizing patients’ health outcomes and preserving public health and healthcare budgets. Knowing the optimal dosage and duration of a treatment, used alone or in combination, and host related factors, is vital for using it efficiently for the benefit of the patient and society.

2.       Treatment Optimization must take place early. Treatment Optimization generating evidence for HTA, payers and clinicians should be initiated before the medicine’s full deployment on the market i.e., as soon as the safety and efficacy profiles are known but without delaying patients’ access to innovative treatments.

3.       Treatment Optimization must cover all treatment options and modalities and should consider the specific therapeutic needs of vulnerable subgroups such as infants and children. Research investigating the optimal way to use a treatment should comply with high scientific standards and be free of commercial consideration.

4.       All member states and payers should support Treatment Optimization at a relevant scale. Research addressing medical practice-oriented questions must be funded by public sources. Member states should pool their resources for supporting Treatment Optimization when doing so on an international scale is justified.

5.       Treatment Optimization will benefit from new models of partnership. Pooling expertise and resources from clinicians, patients, HTA and industry is essential for conducting sound Treatment Optimization research.

6.       Treatment Optimization will support industry competitiveness, and reputation. Optimised usage will improve medicines’ impact on health and justify fair price.


In Europe, most of the clinical research dedicated to therapeutic innovations is aimed primarily at regulatory approval. Once a drug enters the common market, each member state determines its real-world use based on its own criteria: pricing, reimbursement, and clinical indications. Such a regulatory approval-centred clinical research landscape may neglect critical patient-relevant issues such as comparative effectiveness of distinct treatment options or long-term safety monitoring.

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Last Updated: 03-Feb-2022