Cancer Spending and Survival Varies Widely Across Europe

Milena Sant, MD Analytical Epidemiology and Health Impact Unit Department of Preventive and Predictive Medicine Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori Milan, Interview with:
Milena Sant, MD
Analytical Epidemiology and Health Impact Unit
Department of Preventive and Predictive Medicine
Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori
Milan, Italy

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Milena Sant: Effective treatments for haematological malignanacies are available since early 2000, however in previous studies differences in survival by large European region were evidenced. We used the EUROCARE data to investigate survival time trends and differences across countries within large regions.

The study results highlighted a general improvement in 5-year relative survival, most marked for CML (5-year relative survival improved from 30% to 54% from 1997 to 2006-08; and for NHL, particularly follicular type (from 59 to 74%); less variation was seen for Hodgkin survival; Despite this increase,  remarkable differences by country within regions were evident. For instance CML survival varyied from 33% in Eastern European countries to 58%in central and northern European countries

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Milena Sant: We found a direct relationship between the total national expenditure on health and cancer survival.

Survival improvement over time was related to the availability of effective treatments and to the time of market uptake of these drugs, which varied across countries. However, further factors should be taken into account, related to organization and delivery of care: stage at diagnosis, general health conditions of patients, availability of hematological services for prompt diagnosis and treatment of complications and side effects of treatment.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Milena Sant: Outcome research studies and surveillance of survival time trends are useful to identidy regions at low survival where actions are neeeded. With the constant increase of cancer survival and as therapies are more and more able to control these cancers, survival is no longer a sufficient outcome indicator. Recurrence and cancer free interval should be taken into consideration, as affecting outcome and prognosis, as well as quality of life indicators, comorbidities, long or short term side effects of treatments, direct and indirect costs and process indicators. Measuring these outcomes as well as collecting well-established clinical variables is fundamental.

Citation: Presented at the The European Cancer Congress 2015 September 2015

LATE BREAKING ABSTRACT: Is Europe doing better in cancer care since the 90s? The latest findings from the EUROCARE-5 study

Sant(1), S. Francisci(2), P. Minicozzi(1), R. Otter(3), M. Primic-Zakeli(4), G. Gatta(5), S. Rossi(2), P. Baili(1), L.A. Anderson(6), B. Holleczek(7), C. Lepage(8), E. Crocetti(9), A. Trama(5), R. Marcos-Gragera(10), O. Visser(11), F. Berrino(12), R. Capocaccia(2,5), R. De Angelis(2)

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Milena Sant, MD (2015). Cancer Spending and Survival Varies Widely Across Europe 

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