26 January 2022

Programmes backed by strong evidence say advisors to Beating Cancer Plan

Scientific Advisors to the European Commission have indicated they will advise that there is a strong basis for organised prostate cancer screening across Europe, as long as age criteria are applied.

At a meeting with stakeholders including patient representatives, the European Commission’s Group of Chief Scientific Advisors presented the main draft elements of the advice on cancer screening that it is currently considering. This will inform the implementation of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan.

At a presentation during the meeting, the advisors emphasised that opportunistic testing outside organised screening programmes could lead to overdiagnosis and harm. They strongly recommended that this needed to be addressed. “The experts find the scientific basis for organised prostate cancer screening quite strong provided that the age criteria are appropriate,” they said. “It is likely that MRI and active surveillance will become part of prostate cancer protocols to further improve net benefit for individuals.”

Europa Uomo Chairman André Deschamps, who attended the meeting, welcomed the statements made at the meeting.

“I am very glad that there is a consensus reached among all the experts that early detection of prostate cancer is the right way to go,” he said. “Their advice to use techniques like MRI and risk calculators to avoid overtreatment is in line with the latest EAU guidelines and the strategy that we promote.”