The development of personalised oncology care, where the right cancer treatment is given to the right person at the right time determined by the use of biomarkers, is predicted to lead to better outcomes and reduced risk of side effects for patients with cancer as well as reducing costs and improving efficiencies for healthcare systems.

Given the burden of cancer in Europe and the potential of medical innovation to reduce this burden on patients and health systems, personalised oncology must be central to any vision of future health policies in Europe.

Access to Personalised Oncology in Europea report by LSE consulting commissioned by EFPIA, identifies the barriers to better deployment of personalised cancer treatment for European cancer patients and makes concrete recommendations on how to advance and implement personalised oncology in Europe. Policymakers in Europe need to be more aspirational in improving equity in access to cancer care Europe-wide, as well as advancing and implementing personalised medicine approaches for all cancer patients in Europe. This will not only benefit patients, their care givers and physicians, but also strengthen the European research and innovation landscape and contribute societal benefits.

Improving cancer care through broader access to quality biomarker testingBiomarker tests are essential tools in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. They can be used to provide precise diagnoses and identify patients most likely to respond to treatment, therefore informing treatment selection. They can also help predict and monitor disease progression and identify patients at increased risk of developing a given condition. In this way, identifying biomarkers and developing corresponding biomarker tests have become increasingly important in the development of new therapies. Biomarkers and biomarker testing are a significant pillar of precision medicine, which uses patient data to inform personalised treatment decisions.

High quality oncology biomarker testing will lead to better outcomes for patients with cancer. However, current access to biomarker testing is inconsistent and contributes to health inequities across Europe. The International Quality Network for Pathology (IQN Path), the European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC), and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) have partnered on a study to analyse the current state of biomarker testing in the EU and the UK, and to lay out recommendations to achieve a vision of universal access to precision medicine in cancer care for all European cancer patients.