Europe strengthens patient involvement in cancer research

Current Trio Council Presidency partners Slovenia, Portugal and Germany adopt joint Principles of Successful Patient Involvement in Cancer Research.

Under Germany’s leadership, the current Trio Council Presidency adopted the “Europe: Unite Against Cancer” declaration in October 2020, which emphasises the importance of patient-centred cancer research. In adopting the declaration, the three countries triggered a process which has culminated in the joint principles of patient involvement in cancer research.

Over the past few months, more than 130 stakeholders from 16 countries across Europe were involved in drawing up the “Principles of Successful Patient Involvement in Cancer Research”. The contributors came from patient organisations, cancer research, participatory research, the medical and care professions, industry, research management, funding organisations and the political decision-making level. It is now up to local, regional and national partners in research and the patient community to implement the principles on the ground.

Patient-centred cancer research is to become the standard in Europe in the long term so that it becomes even more closely aligned to the needs of patients.

Anja Karliczek holds the trio statement in her hand.

Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek: "The clear signal is that patient involvement must become more standard throughout Europe. This is an important message for all patients in the whole of Europe.”

BMBF/Hans-Joachim Rickel

By involving both those giving and receiving cancer treatment, research projects can be better designed to address the real demands of patients. This in turn improves project implementation. Including patients already in the design of the research process also leads to greater acceptance of research results and generates greater support for projects.

The National Decade against Cancer initiated by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in 2019 not only sets new standards in bringing together all the stakeholders, it also builds new bridges between patients and cancer research in one of its seven fields of action, which is devoted to strengthening involvement.

Read the German version of the article here.