The survival rate for pancreatic cancer has not changed in over 40 years. Only 3% of those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer survive beyond 5 years, and there is currently a lack of an effective cure and even life-prolonging therapies.
This is why the Health Consumer Powerhouse (HCP), who monitor and compare healthcare systems among EU member states, will produce the Euro Pancreatic Cancer Index (EPI) for the first time comparing and analysing therapy options and survival outcomes for pancreatic cancer around Europe. Earlier this year, I was delighted to be invited to join HCP’s Pancreatic Cancer Index Expert Panel with other pancreatic cancer ‘experts’.
On Monday, 17th June, I attended the panel’s first meeting in Berlin to compare the pancreatic services, treatments and outcomes across the whole of EU plus Switzerland and Norway from a patient’s perspective. The majority of those on the panel are medical specialists, including professors of oncology, gastroenterology and surgery. I was the only ‘expert’ from the UK.
The panel had a good first meeting in Berlin with kick-off discussions about what should be the areas that we use to benchmark services and outcomes across Europe. We had very interesting discussions, which highlighted the difficulties facing this disease and the need for this kind of exercise. There was a lot of interest in the UK Pancreatic Cancer Action statistics packs that we have just published which have been submitted to the group for inclusion in the study.
The panel will meet another couple times in Europe before the EPI report is published in early 2014.