The aim of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan is to tackle the entire disease pathway. Over the coming years, it will focus on research and innovation, tap into the potential that digitalisation and new technologies offer, and mobilise financial instruments to support Member States. With its policy objectives, supported by ten flagship initiatives and multiple supporting actions, the Cancer Plan will help Member States turn the tide against cancer. Sweden and Estonia have decided to join forces in this endeavour.
On the 26th of May North Estonia Medical Centre Regionaal Haigla and Vision Zero Cancer arranged an interactive meeting to share experience and explore areas for collaboration in research and innovation to deliver on the mission of beating cancer. The meeting was focused around five key areas presented after the shared introduction by Dr. Terje Peetso (MD, Member of the Board at North Estonia Medical Centre) and Ebba Hallersjö Hult (Head of Vision Zero Cancer).
Bettina Ryll (MD, PhD, member of the Horizon Europe Mission Board for Cancer, Chair ESMO Patient Advocacy Group, Founder Melanoma Patient Network Europe) shared her thoughts on the emergence of A new era in cancer care in Europe followed by Professor Hans Hägglund (MD, Professor, National Cancer Coordinator, Chairman of the Federation of Regional Cancer centres, Chairman of Vision Zero Cancer) who painted the picture of the Swedish setting of 10 years with a national strategy – achievements and future outlook complemented by Dr. Vahur Valvere (MD, PhD, Director of Research and Development, North-Estonian Regional Hospital Cancer Center, Chairman of the Board of Estonian Cancer Society) giving the outlook of the Estonian National Cancer Control Plan for 2021-2030.
Mia Rajalin (PhD., lic. psychologist, Director of Studies, Region Stockholm, Member of the Board, the Swedish Lung Cancer Association and Vision Zero Cancer) member of the Vision Zero Cancer core-team and lung cancer patient gave her story of how the diagnosis became a driver for improving cancer care. The case of lung cancer was further elaborated by Dr. Simon Ekman (MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Senior Consultant, Department of Oncology-pathology, Karolinska University Hospital and Karolinska Institutet) and Dr. Kersti Oselin (MD, PhD, Medical Oncologist, North-Estonian Regional Hospital Cancer Center) sharing experiences from the Swedish Precision treatment of lung cancer at Karolinska Comprehensive Cancer Center and Estonian work with AI for early detection and prognostic significance of genomic markers in lung cancer recurrence.
Anu Planken (MD, PhD, Medical Oncologist, North-Estonian Regional Hospital Cancer Center) presented an Overview of the personalised oncology landscape in Estonia building on the promise of personalized medicine for cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Complementing this with the perspective of data and information-sharing Arvid Widenlou Nordmark (Coordinator National Quality Registries for Cancer, Confederation of Regional Cancer Centres) gave the Swedish view of how national quality registries are used to guide and evaluate clinical improvement efforts and introduced the The Patient Overview – an enabler for personalised medicine. Rounding up the group of speakers was Dr. Indrek Seire (MD, Surgical Oncologist, North-Estonian Regional Hospital Cancer Center) giving an oversight of the Estonian work with Structured health data and site-based databases in oncology.
The meeting continued with the approximately 25 participants being split into breakout groups discussing the question of how we can leverage the promise of personalised medicine (PM) for our patients and societies? with the goal of both sharing knowledge and insights while strengthening possibilities for successful international collaborations.
The successful outcome of the meeting has led to a deepened collaboration within cancer care between Sweden and Estonia with planned visits and experience exchanges on site in Sweden during the autumn 2021 and in Estonia in the spring of 2022.