Why it matters

Immuno-oncology therapies offer significant potential for a growing number of patients with many forms of cancer. Using the body’s own immune system to fight disease, immuno-oncology has transformed the prognosis for many types of cancer. Our understanding of how these therapies work is evolving rapidly as more immuno-oncology therapies become available. It is important that regulatory and policy landscapes anticipate the innovation in immuno-oncology, in order to reduce barriers to cancer patients’ access and avoid further increases in inequalities across Europe. Simultaneously, it is essential that we provide patients with accurate, up-to-date information to help them have a meaningful dialogue with their doctors about the role that these therapies may play in their treatment.

“I recommend this test to all those who may be able to benefit from it”

Christine, living with breast cancer

What ECPC adds

In 2014, ECPC co-chaired the Expert Group on Immuno-Oncology – an independent network of patients, clinicians, politicians and industry with the aim of helping ensure cancer patients across Europe gain timely access to immuno-oncology therapies. The Policy Action Framework developed by the Expert Group and launched in the European Parliament, presented a good starting point for policymakers, with concrete proposals to tackle the regulatory and structural obstacles which slow down patients’ access to immunotherapies. To support the changing cancer care environments, ECPC has also developed a range of resources for patients, including a patient guide in 24 languages and the first European patient information portal on immuno-oncology and cancer immunotherapy, which offers training and access information in multiple languages.