24 February 2022

New report from European Cancer Organisations calls for European action

Many more people with cancer in Europe should be able to benefit from recent advances in genomic tumour testing, according to a new report from the European Cancer Organisation.

Based on discussions between experts in the field, the report highlights the need for the European Union and its Member States to ensure that timely and accessible genomic tumour testing is urgently implemented.

It calls for new EU recommendations on genomic tumour testing to encourage national implementation. It also suggests that genomic tumour testing should be given due attention as part of the ongoing implementation of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan.

The proposals are very relevant for men diagnosed with prostate cancer. Several molecular tests for prostate cancer are available or in development and can indicate whether a man is likely to respond to a particular treatment. ESMO guidelines identify three types of tumours that should be “broadly” tested: NCSLC (non-small cell lung cancer), prostate, and pancreatic cancer.

Matti Aapro, who chaired the meetings which led to the recommendations, said: “As an oncologist, I have seen how sequencing technologies can make a difference for the care of cancer patients. The scientific promise is there, but what ultimately matters is to deliver it to patients. This should not be a new area of inequality.”