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EU seeking to boost role of patients in cancer research

Patient involvement “must become more standard throughout Europe”, say research ministers

The three countries responsible for chairing the EU-related activities of the bloc’s member state governments from July 2020 to the end of 2021 have joined forces to increase the involvement of cancer patients in research into the disease.

The research ministers of Germany, Portugal and Slovenia adopted joint principles of patient involvement in the spectrum of cancer research on 7 September.

According to the Slovenian presidency of the Council of the EU, the principles were drawn up by patients, researchers, healthcare professionals and other stakeholders, and their adoption is intended to “align national and European research efforts” to link researchers with people who have cancer and other diseases, as well as their families.

“Our aim is to provide [cancer patients and their families] with the opportunity to become active agents in research and enable them to be at the core of shared decision-making,” said Slovenia’s science minister Simona Kustec.

We are giving [a] clear signal that patient involvement must become more standard throughout Europe,” the three ministers jointly said. They urged all European countries to join them in the initiative.