We are happy to share with you the second ECPC Survey on biomarker testing, after our first was launched in 2016 (see attached infographic). The survey, translated  into 13 languages, can be taken until August 15th 2020 with this link. You can choose the language you wish to take the survey in by using the drop down menu provided at the beginning of the survey.

Biomarkers are still largely unknown by cancer patients and are insufficiently used by physicians, according to our first survey, conducted jointly with the European Alliance for Personalised Medicines (EAPM) to measure patient awareness on biomarkers across Europe.

This second survey, four years after the first, and with a great number of newer biomarkers and new cancer medicines available, will help us to better understand the knowledge about biomarkers and the experiences cancer patients and survivors had during their diagnosis and, in particular, during biomarker testing, if they had such in all parts of Europe.

The new patient survey is part of a larger study on biomarker testing conducted together with EFPIA-European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations and IQN Path – International Quality Network for Pathology. ECPC has entrusted L.E.K. Consulting to conduct the survey its behalf. L.E.K. Consulting is an independent strategy and marketing consultant fully compliant with Data Protection legislation.

Physicians use diagnostic tests for various levels of clinical decision support (i.e. to confirm a diagnosis, to estimate prognosis, or to make a therapy selection, etc..). Poor patient knowledge surrounding diagnostic technologies and biomarkers, and lack of reimbursement for biomarker testing in many European countries creates an obstacle for improving cancer patients’ access to new treatments and better clinical outcomes. Biomarkers can help physicians select with precision in a timely manner the optimal treatment for each patient, thus improving the risks and benefits of new and existing drugs and increasing the likelihood of response to treatment.



The new biomarker-based diagnostic tests can facilitate not only faster and more accurate diagnosis but also ensure the immediate and right treatment for any given patient. This project aims to collect information from cancer patients and survivors on their knowledge about and experience with biomarker testing or no testing, in order to improve and accelerate the access that cancer patients have to newer biomarker testing and ultimately to new cancer medicines for improving treatment of cancer patients across the EU.



ECPC member organizations are expected to invite their members to participate in the survey. The more completed questionnaires received from each country the more credible will be the results. Therefore, promoting the survey on your website, your social media, in the local press, radio or tv will help you reach a broader audience of cancer patients who are not yet your members.

For any assistance you may need with the promotion of the survey you may contact Paulina Gono, ECPC Partnerships & Communications Officer paulina.gono@ecpc.org

Thank you very much for supporting the dissemination of the survey.

For the further dissemination on your national level, please use the link with the relevant survey translation that is available here.


What are biomarkers?

A biomarker is a molecule or a gene, the presence or absence of which can be used to characterise a particular cancer type. Biomarkers are typically tested for in order to help physicians choose the right therapy, depending on the patient’s genetic profile (e.g., in breast cancer, whether or not a breast cancer patient tests positive for HER2 can inform if the drug Trastuzumab is appropriate / suitable for the patient). Biomarker testing may also be called “mollecular testing” or “genetic testing” in clinical practice with the same meaning.