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The aims of the Personalised Medicine Awareness Month 2018

The European Cancer Patient Coalition, our member patient organisations and our partners engaged during November in a month-long advocacy and awareness campaign to highlight the potential of personalised medicine with a focus on cancer molecular testing and cancer biomarkers.

This year, European Cancer Patient Coalition promoted the importance of access to cancer molecular testing during a month-long advocacy campaign, Personalised Medicine Awareness Month: Cracking the Cancer Code.

The European Cancer Patient Coalition and our member organisations believe that people living with cancer should be informed about all available treatment options and be empowered to make the best decisions for their health, together with their healthcare team. That’s why ECPC is working towards ensuring all Europeans with cancer and at risk of getting cancer have appropriate access to cancer molecular testing. This will help to promote better diagnosis, more targeted follow up and a truly personalised treatment.

During Personalised Medicine Awareness Month 2018, the European Cancer Patient Coalition and its members united to call for:
  • Increased access and decreased waiting times for high-quality molecular testing to make personalised healthcare more of a reality across Europe;
  • More information to educate and empower patients and caregivers around the potential and availability of molecular testing;
  • A harmonised and more efficient regulatory framework across Europe which could increase access to, and potentially reduce the cost of, molecular testing.

During the campaign, the European Cancer Patient Coalition published a series of articles related to Personalised Medicine:

  • Introductory article, launching Personalised Medicine Awareness Month - Cracking the Cancer Code. Please visit the article here.
  • Personalised Medicine Awareness Month Patient Stories: Story of Barbara, a colorectal cancer survivor. Please visit the article here.
  • Personalised Medicine Awareness Month Patient Stories: Story of Christine, who is living with breast cancer. Please visit the article here.
  • Alex Filicevas' and Lydia Makaroff's article on Personalised Medicine Awareness Month. Please visit the article here.
  • Heinz Zwierzina's article on biomarkers and patients’ access to personalized oncology drugs in Europe. Please visit article here.

 

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The European Cancer Patient Coalition developed a guide to help our member patient organisations and partners to participate in Personalised Medicine Awareness Month campaign, and make the most of the tools and materials, which were developed together with experts. The toolkit contained:

  • key messages
  • patient case studies

  • social media materials

  • templates for Press Releases

  • outreach letter to policymakers, pledge and call for action


The materials in this toolkit were translated in 12 languages, including: Czech, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Lithuanian, Polish, Romanian, and Spanish. The aim of the translations was to help patient organisations to promote the campaign at national level in their country.

 

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Future campaigns

The 2018 campaign was the first ever ECPC Personalised Medicine Awareness Month organised in partnership with European Alliance for Personalised Medicine, Cancer Drug Development Forum and International Quality Network for Pathology.

Patient and supporter participation has been central to the success of Personalised Medicine Awareness Month Campaign and it is ECPC's priority to make sure they always play a central role.

If you would like to contribute, participate or follow-up on the Personalised Medicine Awareness Month Campaign, please contact Alex Filicevas at alex.filicevas@ecpc.org

 

The European Cancer Patient Coalition gratefully acknowledges the support of AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cancer Drug Development Forum, Genomic Health, Johnson & Johnson, MSD, Roche, Takeda.