82IN - Personalised medicine in National Cancer Plans: How can innovation be translated into policy?

Date 29 September 2014
Event ESMO 2014
Session The impact on health services from personalised targeted therapies
Topics Bioethics, Legal, and Economic Issues
Personalised/Precision Medicine
Basic Principles in the Management and Treatment (of cancer)
Presenter Jose M. Martin-Moreno
Citation Annals of Oncology (2014) 25 (suppl_4): iv29-iv30. 10.1093/annonc/mdu308
Authors J.M. Martin-Moreno
  • Preventive Medicine And Healthcare Quality, University of Valencia, 46010 - Valencia/ES




Stratified, precision or personalised medicine (PM) is emerging as one of the most important areas of clinical innovation in cancer care. Yet, implementing policies to translate these innovations to practice entails deep changes, including in how patient information is treated, how funding is allocated, how diagnostic tests are validated and carried out, how care is organised, how clinical trials are conducted and how new drugs are approved. National Cancer Control Programmes (NCCPs), for their part, have emerged as the primary instrument to coordinate the range of cancer control policies within individual countries, and virtually all European countries have adopted one. This means that for PM to be integrated into cancer care at a national scale, they should ideally be contemplated first within the broad framework of an NCCP. Before deciding how to integrate PM concepts within an NCCP, it is important to understand two facts about PM in cancer. First, although currently PM is in a relatively early stage of development, it is clearly an active area of interest for researchers and clinicians, so— sooner or later—PM will objectively and widely be considered an integral part of cancer control. In other words, it is in the best interests of health systems to start preparing now for the future. Secondly, PM will not be limited to the spheres of diagnosis and care. From regulatory structures, data exchange and technological infrastructures, to professional training, clinical trials, health services research and patient education and engagement, PM concepts must eventually be integrated into all areas of cancer control, and indeed of healthcare. While it is still somewhat premature to implement definitive, large-scale changes to cancer care policy, it is not too early to develop strategic PM approaches to professional training, biobanks, clinical trials and patient education. These actions, properly set within the solid foundation of an evidence-based NCCP, will set the groundwork for the organised and coherent uptake of future innovations in PM, ensuring that a personalised approach is implemented—equitably, rationally and with sufficient evidence—at a population level.


The author has declared no conflicts of interest.