This is the monthly newsletter on public affairs sent by ESTRO to national societies
This is the ESTRO Public Affairs newsletter: a monitoring service offered by ESTRO to national societies of the radiation oncology area to keep up-to-date with oncopolicy issues.
This issue of the newsletter is dedicated to HORIZON Europe: Creating Synergies - Research & Innovation
Focus of the month
HORIZON Europe: Creating Synergies - Research & Innovation 

Happening Across Europe at a glance
Other news
  • JRC and WHO release indicators on the burden of cancer
  • Radiotherapy effects on second primary neoplasms
  • Value-based pricing of medicine for rare diseases and cancers 
  • A human-centric approach to AI: EU ethics guidelines on artificial intelligence use in medical field
  • Calls for Proposals 


In the new HORIZON Europe programme, the European institutions emphasise the strengthening of collaborations and creation of synergies, proceeding HORIZON 2020. It highlights instruments for research and innovation, notably the EU Framework Programmes for research and Innovation (FP) and the European Structural Investments Funds (ESIF).
To assess the framework, the Horizon 2020 programme was reviewed as part of a Mutual Learning Exercise (MLE) on ‘Widening Participation and Strengthening Synergies.’ Twelve Member States participated in the exercise; Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden, Spain, and Turkey, carried out between 2017-2018.
As a result, a new policy report has been issued by the European Commission. It reports on policy initiatives premeditated to widen participation in the European Union’s Framework Programmes and to achieve synergies between activities supported by ESIF and the Horizon 2020. In scope of realising dynamic synergies, it outlines context, good practice, and barriers.

Improving National Skills base, strengthening sciences and industry linkages, and the participation to EU initiatives has been identified as the key national measures to reinforce synergies between long-term national and regional strategies. Especially, considering that participation in the FP is directly linked to national investments in R&I and services.
In a speech
on the European Structural Investment Funds on 6 December 2018, health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis confirms 8 million spent of structural funds from 2014-2020, improving the health of over 40 million European citizens. He encourages all stakeholders: “to join forces and collaborate on pursuing investments for health care and cure systems and urges stakeholders to take advantage, not only of the funds but other available mechanisms too. “  

Proposals for the new Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021 to 2027 encompass continued support for up-front investments in health designed “to create closer links between what the EU funds support, and how structural reforms are being implemented at national level.”

"Cancer is more than a health issue. It is increasingly a social and political issue demanding attention and action at all levels. We must enhance common efforts to achieve more Europe with less cancer"

-  Alojz Peterle, Member of European Parliament (MEP), The Parliament Magazine Feb 2016 
Happening across Europe at a glance

Finland's health ministry announced that it will continue work on the legislation to create a national genome centre in 2019
>> This is despite it had been removed from the list of government proposals submitted during the term. Read more

The Global Policy Lab conference call hosted on the 18 December reports that France stands out as the leading European country in Cancer treatment

Switzerland receives the "Best young SME" award for multi-wave technologies
>> Theory on metamaterial technology that improves the signals captured by state-of-art MRI systems Read more

>> A Swiss researcher found differences in protein production between healthy cells and tumors, funded through the Marie Curie programme Read more

The UK and the impact of BREXIT
>>In a letter to civil society UK MP, Rachel Reeves chair of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee has written to junior business minister Richard Harrington, indirectly addressing the medical nuclear sector, such as adequate and timely supplies of imported radioisotopes Read more 

>>  An analysis of the National Health Service and private companies to develop medical technologies in the UK is now available:  "Making the NHS data work for everyone" report was published December 2018

>> AstraZeneca  announced a collaboration with Cancer Research UK to create a new functional genomics centre that will use technologies such as CRISPR and big data to develop new cancer medicines Read more 

The new UK voluntary drug pricing scheme came into effect 1 Jan and will be in place for the next 5 years Read more

>> A report on the cost of medicines carried out last month, predicts that changes are likely: 11 EU countries refer the  UK's drug pricing system to set prices in their own countries Read more

Latest on the HTA dossier in Europe
>>Germany, France, the Czech Republic, Poland, Spain, and Bulgaria have joined forces to support voluntary participation on the Health Technology Assessment (HTA) progress on the HTA file in the Council of the EU.  Read more

The Joint Research Centre (JRC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) release indicators on the burden of cancer

In a joint initiative by the JRC, the WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the recent estimates on the burden of cancer incidents have been compiled using data from the European network of cancer registries and the International Association of Cancer Registries. The result is based on input from over 150 regional and national population-based cancer registries covering 30 European countries. The findings show estimates for cancer incidence and mortality indicators for 40 European countries on 34 types of cancer, and for all cancer sites combined.

Read more

Radiotherapy effects on second primary neoplasms (SPN)

Although radiotherapy and chemotherapy are risk factors, data collected under thee CONCERT - European Joint Programme for the integration of Radiation Protection Research show that there may be a genetic sensitivity which exposes certain patients to radiation-induced cancer more than others. Data supporting this evidence are based on the ISABELa project-led cohort of the German Childhood Cancer Registry. It concludes that one in ten former cancer patients develop SPN within 35 years that the first cancer occurred. 

Read more

Value-based pricing of medicine for rare diseases and cancers   

European associations can take a stance on pricing through the EURODIS new rare barometer survey that will be available in 23 different languages. This is a follow-up initiative based on the 2018 position paper on the improvement of patients' access to rare disease medicines.

Read more

A human-centric approach to AI: EU ethics guidelines on artificial intelligence use in medical field


The high-level exert group on Artificial Intelligence (AI) has released the first draft of its' ethics guidelines. The document defines the framework for Trustworthy AI that require ethical purpose and technical robustness to maximise the benefits of AI, and minimizing the risks applying a human-centric approach to AI. The consultation is open to civil society and a final version of the guidelines will be presented in March 2019. 

Read more

Calls for Proposals 
  MSCA-COFUND 2019: Co-funding of regional, national and international programmes deadline April 4 2019
SC1-DTH-01-2019: Big Data and Artificial Intelligence for monitoring health status and quality of life after cancer treatment deadline April 24 2019

For a list calls on the topics of Nuclear Fission, Fusion and Radiation Protection Research here.
If you have any questions  please contact Gabriella Axelsson
ESTRO Public Affairs Project Manager
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