M-ICAB Melanoma Independent Community Advisory Board Conference 23-24 April 2012, Brussels
BRUSSELS, April 18, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A patient-led meeting of stakeholders in melanoma will this month address how patients can secure access to the most up to date and effective treatments in Europe.
The 2nd M-ICAB (Melanoma Independent Community Advisory Board) meets 23-24 April 2012 in Brussels. A pilot project of the European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC), the M-ICAB conference brings together a truly multidisciplinary partnership of researchers, clinicians, pharmaceutical companies, cancer patients and patient-advocates to drive policy change at the European and national levels.
The conference will provide a venue for stakeholders to address the inequality of access to state of the art therapies and challenges to achieving potential treatment advancements. Many of the sessions are designed to achieve consensus about how to ease access for patients to new treatments via clinical trials and to overcome regulatory, reimbursement and payer barriers. Following the meeting, a whitepaper will be developed summarising the discussion on the way forward and how stakeholders can work together to address policy barriers.
Comments Prof. Patricia Garcia-Prieto, a stage IV melanoma patient and president and founder of M-ICAB: "M-ICAB is a pilot program set up to help identify innovative solutions in melanoma treatment and access. What we are able to accomplish through our focus in melanoma will set the scene for patients with many other types of cancer. As a multi-disciplinary group of clinicians, researchers, regulators and reimbursers, and industry we are uniquely placed to find solutions that work for patients. We aren't interested in barriers, but what can be achieved. We will be looking to find consensus on issues at this meeting that will push the boundaries and change the way that cancer in Europe is diagnosed and treated."
In Europe, about 1 in every 100 persons will develop melanoma at some point in their lifetime, though incidence varies by country. About 11 in every 100,000 people are diagnosed with melanoma annually, and this number is increasing in almost all European countries. Metastatic melanoma is an under-served cancer, where targeted therapies for advanced disease are at a turning point but still new and incomplete. Access to treatment and information is limited and patient advocacy in Europe is still in its infancy.
The European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC) launched M-ICAB as the first in a series of Independent Cancer Advisory Boards which are patient-led, independent advisory panels set up to contribute to identifying innovative cancer solutions – especially for under-served cancers and under-represented cancer type populations. This type of organisational structure (inspired by the successful experience of the HIV/AIDS Community Advisory Boards) will offer a platform for all stakeholders to join forces, centred on the cancer patient perspective.
Established in 2003, the European Cancer Patient Coalition is the voice of the European cancer patient community, uniquely representing the interests of all cancer patient groups from the major to the rarer cancers. It has been established to represent the views of cancer patients in the European healthcare debate and to provide a forum for European cancer patients to exchange information and share best practice experiences. ECPC derives its mandate to speak with "one voice" for all cancer patients from its membership and its democratic structure. With its motto "Nothing about us without us!", ECPC represents over 300 patient organisations in 42 countries, including the 27 EU member states.
 "Melanoma: A Guide for Patients". European Society for Medical Oncology. http://www.esmo.org/fileadmin/media/pdf/2011/patients/summaries/en/Melanoma_Guide_for_Patients_RCT_ESMO_2011.1.pdf Accessed 6 April 2012.
SOURCE European Cancer Patient Coalition - ECPC