ECPC is glad to be a part of the International Colorectal Cancer Association’s Get Tested campaign, which was officially launched on March 24th, 2015, in Brussels. It is the first-ever worldwide campaign to specifically raise awareness of the critical role that RAS biomarker testing can play in improving survival outcomes for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC).
To kick-start the campaign, a White Paper, titled ‘RAS Biomarker Testing: Improving Patient Outcomes in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer’ was launched at a parliamentary meeting in Brussels. ECPC was one of the co-authors of the document. The White Paper’s call-to-action is to improve outcomes for patients newly diagnosed with mCRC by routinely performing RAS biomarker testing prior to first-line treatment decision making as part of a personalised cancer care plan.
The launch event, hosted by Elisabetta Gardini, MEP, Head of the Italian EPP delegation, featured presentations from a range of experts in the field of mCRC including Dr Nicola Normanno, Professor Mark Lawler and Jola Gore-Booth, CEO EuropaColon.
The White Paper unveiled the campaign’s 6-point call-to-action, and Cristian Buşoi, MEP, provided commentary on the political importance these steps held in terms of securing optimal health outcomes for patients across Europe, and beyond.
Attendees at the event, comprising representatives from several key institutions including the European Commission (represented at the event by Michael Hubel, Head of Unit, Programme and Knowledge management), patient advocacy groups and industry, wholeheartedly supported the call-to-action.
Biomarkers are typically analysed from a tissue biopsy sample, but Dr Nicola Normanno also briefly mentioned a future technology called a ‘liquid biopsy’. The liquid biopsy RAS biomarker test is currently only available in Spain, however more countries will soon be launching the test in the coming months with the intention that it will be broadly available across Europe by the end of the year.
In parallel to the launch event in Brussels, a co-ordinated global media campaign was implemented across 35 countries. A website to support the campaign, www.GetTestedCampaign.com, was also launched, containing patient friendly downloadable resources such as infographics, patient case studies, and biomarker videos.
The campaign is run by the International Colorectal Cancer Association (ICCA), and is supported by Merck Serono, Sysmex Inostics and Amgen. The campaign is also endorsed by a number of organisations across the world, including ECPC.