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EJC News: April 2012

VOLUME 48, ISSUE 4, April 2012 - Get the newsletter as PDF here


EJC EUROFILE: Should we welcome the EC initiative to speed up access to new medicines?

The European Commission has taken the first steps to reduce the time taken for national decisions on drug pricing and reimbursement in order to speed up patient access to innovative medicines. But cancer patient groups are concerned the move raises as many questions as it answers...MORE


EJC INTERVIEW: The need for scientific input into policy

Cornelis van de Velde (Leiden University Medical Centre, the Netherlands) took over the presidency of ECCO on January 1st, 2012. He has extensive experience in oncology healthcare and cancer group management and is a former president of the European Society for Surgical Oncology (ESSO). On becoming president of ECCO, he stresses the challenges facing oncology professionals ‘in treating an increasingly ageing and diverse population, especially in an era of targeted therapies'...MORE


EJC NEWS FOCUS Scientific advances in breast cancer which will not only improve outcomes but also make a real difference to patients’ experiences of care, were presented at the 8th European Breast Cancer Conference (EBCC-8) in Vienna, Austria (21-24 March 2012). Highlights included a study of ultrasound-guided surgery, which led to a significant decrease in re-excisions, mastectomies and extra  radiotherapy (compared with standard palpation-guided excisions); and new data on subcutaneous trastuzumab, which gave the same benefits as the drug given intravenously, while being more convenient for both patients and clinicians, saving time and resources all round. In this month’s EJC News Focus, EJC’s Breast Cancer Editor, Kathy Pritchard (Sunnybrook Regional Cancer Center, Toronto, Ontario) discusses these and other key presentations.


Edited by Helen Saul. Telephone +44 1865 843340; email:

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