Experts from across Europe and representatives of international medical associations and disciplines gathered today in Barcelona as part of joint efforts to boost optimal care for prostate cancer (PCa) patients, and for them to come up with a consensus on standards that will define the European Prostate Cancer Centres of Excellence.
The EAU Prostate Cancer Centre Consensus Meeting (EPCCCM) is the newest initiative led by the European Association of Urology (EAU) to create a multi-disciplinary and professional network that will link up expert clinical centres offering holistic, patient-centred care for prostate cancer patients. The meeting preceded the 9th European Multidisciplinary Meeting on Urological Cancers (EMUC17), which will open tomorrow. EMUC is annually organized by the EAU, European Society of Medical Oncology, and the European SocieTy for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO).
“There are PCa expert centres in Europe but we need to link them up to create a more responsive and streamlined network which efficiently responds to modern demands in clinical, research and educational developments. This initiative is unique in the sense that we aim to bring to another level the gains already made by these centres, and further improve the way we manage prostate cancer,” said Prof. Manfred Wirth (DE), EAU Treasurer and Head of Communications, who opened the meeting with co-chairs Professors Hein Van Poppel (BE), EAU Adjunct Secretary General for Education, Peter Albers (DE) President of the German Cancer Society, and Dr. Nicola Fossati (IT).
The initiative involved institutions such as the European School of Oncology (ESO), ESMO, ESTRO, European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), patient group Europa Uomo (EUomo), European Board of Urology (EBU), International Psycho-Oncology Society (IPOS), representatives from the International Agency for Research on Cancer-World Health Organization (IARC-WHO) and the various EAU Section Offices.
The EPCCCM has created a multi-professional task force whose members identified the general criteria that will define the European Prostate Cancer Centres of Excellence. During the meeting, task force members discussed details of the criteria which were grouped into three main topics- Clinics, Research, and Education. Pre-meeting discussions via conference calls took place since March this year.
The consensus statement will cover the mechanics, including requirements and long-term strategic goals, that will further set quality standards for the centres of excellence. Prior to approving the consensus statement, the task force members today conducted a thorough review of the multidisciplinary guidelines to enable them to establish the minimum requirements for high-quality PCa care.
A summary of the consensus meeting will be given by Prof. Wirth tomorrow during the plenary session of the EMUC.
“This initiative is not only crucial for cancer experts and professionals to improve their treatment standards but also further boost the existing collaborative efforts among prostate cancer experts. With the direct input of both medical and patient groups, we can go a long way by further enhancing current standards to achieve a higher level of quality in prostate cancer care,” said Wirth.