On Thursday 9 December 2021, the European Parliament Event of the LifeChamps H2020 Project, entitled: “The role of Research & Innovation in the enhancement of older cancer patients care & treatment options, accessibility, and Quality of Life during survivorship” took place online. The event was co-organised by ECPC & AUTH project partners, while it was kindly hosted by MEP Tomislav Sokol (BECA Committee Member).

The focus of the event was to open the discussion over R&I in the Cancer Health & Care Digital Transformation, in the framework of the EU Beating Cancer Plan, as well as what innovation the LifeChamps project could bring towards this transformation and how it can be improved to better serve the needs of older cancer patients and caregivers.

Distinguished speakers participated in a panel discussion, representing the academia and R&I fields, the healthcare service domain, patients & healthcare professionals’ views, as well as EU-level policymaking bodies and the European Living Lab community.

Fruitful insights, derived from all speakers, as well as from the attendants of the event during the Q&A slot, enriched the panel session, raising additional points for futher discussion & action in the future. The main outcomes of the event are summarized below:

  • There is a need to strengthen European Union’s investment in research innovation related to cancer, of research in general, research on cancer and around healthcare.
  • There is a need to organise European Reference Networks for cross-border healthcare, and regulatory.
  • We need technology, in the form of digital biomarkers, digital solutions that can provide links of electronic shelf profiles with mechanisms to provide and to digitize the feedback, the symptoms, the experiences of patients, and as well as the data that can be collected by wearable sensors during daily life activities.
  • The LifeChamps project measures and provides digital indices of frailty: before fail and after fail. We need to assess how these would fit the data for the different asset types such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, and skin cancer.
  • The LifeChamps project includes experts, doctors, patients, or oncologists into developing these clinical models.
  • We need to determine who are the patients that can benefit from and tolerate standard cancer treatments, versus who are those that require an active treatment plan. The solution to this is a comprehensive geriatric assessment.
  • It is important to select endpoints that are really meaningful for older individuals.
  • There is a need to improve research, the relevance of clinical trials, embed genetic assessment in trial design, and use personalised medicine technologies.
  • There are opportunities with telehealth to improve the care of older patients with cancer, namely by conducting geriatric assessments remotely.
  • Telemedicine needs to be tailored to the individual or group.
  • There is a gap of evidence for older cancer patients; this age group is still underrepresented in research.
  • There is a need for more research with a special focus on older cancer patients with complications and comorbidities, which including geriatric assessment in randomized controlled trials.

We would like to thank the speakers for their interesting inputs on the topic, as well as all the participants for their interest in this webinar and for making it a success. Stay tuned for the next events of the LifeChamps project that will take place in the following months.

You can watch the entire event, by following the LifeChamps YouTube link below:

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