European Society of Coloproctology (ESCP) Executive Member Peter Christensen attended the Colorectal Cancer Policy Roundtable in Brussels arranged by the International Centre for Parliamentary Studies (ICPS) on the 25th April. The roundtable was planned to feed into the development of the European Initiative on Colorectal Cancer (ECICC).

The meeting sought to examine the ongoing challenges in managing colorectal cancer more effectively and explore practical solutions in order to reach an EU-wide consensus and implement a forward action plan.

The roundtable brought together EU policy makers including representatives from WHO and the European Commission, as well as medical and clinical professionals, academic experts and patient groups.

The discussions began with an examination of the current policy framework of colorectal cancer in the EU and Member States, before moving on to how policy could improve early prevention, diagnosis and patient treatment and foster research as well as innovation and drugs development.

At the meeting Prof Christensen highlighted to European policy makers how ESCP has led the way through teaching and training striving to disseminate best practise in colorectal cancer surgery across Europe, with updated online educational resources, and by actively disseminating interactive educational content at annual meetings, at regional masterclasses and at training courses.

Furthermore, ESCP has run collaborative research projects with a series of pan-European cohort studies beginning in 2015. These studies have now collected data from more than 10,000 operations, which is providing a vital evidence base for developing future treatment of colorectal cancer.

Prof Christensen said:

“The ESCP infrastructure and network of trained clinicians can facilitate multinational cohort studies and randomised clinical trials. Collaborative research is the strongest tool to change clinical practice and thereby improve the future treatment of colorectal cancer.”

Following the meeting ICPS will develop a report analysing the discussions and key policy suggestions. This will be published in the Government Gazette later this year, and ESCP will be contributing to the report. The Government Gazette is distributed to all MEPs and senior decision makers in the European Commission and other EU bodies and presents an excellent opportunity to raise ESCP’s profile and concerns.

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