The European Fee launched its European Most cancers Imaging Initiative on Monday (23 January), which goals to create a standard digital infrastructure throughout the EU to facilitate information sharing on the illness.
“Digital applied sciences and synthetic intelligence play an more and more necessary position within the battle in opposition to most cancers,” mentioned Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the Inside Market, on the launch occasion for the European Most cancers Imaging Initiative organised by the European Fee.
The initiative goals to assist healthcare professionals combine cutting-edge imaging applied sciences to enhance most cancers detection and remedy by means of digital infrastructure.
“Synthetic intelligence nonetheless affords huge, untapped potential to proceed delivering super advantages in well being – notably in the case of most cancers detection, remedy and care,” Well being Commissioner Stella Kyriakides mentioned on the occasion.
Whereas Europe already has cutting-edge applied sciences in oncology imaging and most cancers administration, from prevention to remedy of the illness, challenges stay.
“First, the information is fragmented and scattered throughout completely different databases and scientific centres. And second, the information is commonly not simply accessible,” Breton mentioned.
The Fee’s new initiative goals to handle this problem, beginning with making a standard database of tens of millions of pictures obtainable to European researchers and physicians.
This might keep away from the information divide between nationwide and European initiatives.
Facilitating entry to this information would even be a possibility to make progress in most cancers remedy.
In brief, the initiative goals to “use this information to develop revolutionary digital options that may revolutionise most cancers care”, Breton mentioned.
Europe’s beating most cancers plan
The European most cancers imaging initiative is a part of the broader European Most cancers Plan introduced in February 2021 by the European Fee.
The most cancers plan has a finances of €4 billion divided into 4 particular areas of motion: prevention, early analysis, higher entry to remedy, and enhancing high quality of life for sufferers and survivors.
On prevention, the European Fee has set formidable targets: to offer entry to screening for breast, cervical and colorectal most cancers to 90% of eligible Europeans.
The plan additionally emphasises elevated screening for lung, abdomen and prostate most cancers.
These six forms of most cancers are the most typical, accounting for greater than half of all cancers within the EU.
The European Most cancers Imaging Initiative wouldn’t solely enhance the standard of most cancers screening throughout Europe, but in addition enhance the remedy of the illness.
Certainly, the initiative “will present precious sources and picture libraries to stakeholders from the scientific subject, from analysis and innovation”, Kyriakides mentioned.
In keeping with her, higher entry to data can result in the event of the following technology of most cancers diagnostics and coverings.
“Whereas expertise alone can not overcome the unacceptable disparities that also exist within the EU in the case of screening, it might make screening extra exact, well timed and accessible,” concluded the Well being Commissioner.
Defending affected person information
The European Fee’s initiative will improve the change of digital information on a European scale, information that accommodates, amongst different issues, typically confidential – or delicate – details about sufferers.
To guard the information of sufferers, but in addition of researchers, and to attempt to reassure them, the Fee needs to create a “framework of belief”.
“The info infrastructure we’re creating shall be open, however – and that is necessary – open on our European phrases,” mentioned Breton.
In different phrases, within the occasion that a person agrees to share their well being information, it will likely be accomplished in accordance with the Normal Information Safety Regulation (GDPR).
The digital infrastructure “will adjust to EU values and guidelines” and “will assure a excessive stage of safety and safety of non-public information”, Breton promised.
In 2020, most cancers triggered the dying of 1.3 million Europeans, based on the most recent information from the European Fee.
If no efficient measures are put in place, most cancers is predicted to extend by 25% by 2035 and grow to be the main explanation for dying within the EU, the European Most cancers Motion Plan estimated in 2021.
“I encourage your entire well being ecosystem to intently collaborate. Collectively, you may profit from the large potential of the well being information that shall be unlocked by the European Most cancers Imaging Initiative,” Breton concluded.
[Edited by Nathalie Weatherald]