ECL Newsletter
February 2017
MEPs against Cancer meeting: New and Alternative diagnostic methods 
The MEPs against Cancer group gathered on February 8th for the first MAC meeting of 2017 to discuss new and alternative cancer diagnostic methods.

The meeting, arranged by MAC President Alojz Peterle and Vice President Pavel Poc aimed to discuss alternative methods of cancer diagnosis, by show-casing examples from the Czech Republic and Japan.
Participants at the meeting included MAC MEPs, cancer and research advocates and the complementary and alternative medical community. The meeting was well attended and the topic sparked lively debate.
ECL Access to Cancer Medicines Task Force Meeting, 
23 February, Amsterdam 
The ECL task force on equal access to cancer medicine met in Amsterdam on the 23rd of February this year.
This is the first task force meeting of 2017, and gathered colleagues from the cancer leagues of the Netherlands, France, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Belgium, Catalonia, and Northern Ireland.  

The objective of the meeting was to discuss the task force strategy and working methods. The meeting report is in development and will be available in the coming weeks.
ECL kindly thanks the Dutch Cancer Society for hosting this meeting.
On February 2 2017, an Open Letter from the Association of European Cancer Leagues Task Force on Equal Access to Cancer Medicines and the Danish Cancer Society was sent to Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition, copied to Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner for Health.
Its subject was the European collaboration on equal access to cancer medicines and the role of EU competition policy.
A kind reply was received on February 27th.

ECL  coordinates a membership-based task force on equal access to cancer medicines. The ultimate goal is to achieve equal access to medicines for all cancer patients in Europe.
European Code Against Cancer
European Code Against Cancer workshop held during Cancon Joint Action final conference in Malta
In cooperation with the Maltese Ministry of Health and the Maltese Presidency of the European Union, on 13 February ECL organised the latest in a series of workshops for cancer leagues to share experiences of disseminating the European Code Against Cancer.  The workshop was convened to coincide with the final conference of the Cancon joint action, which took place on 14 and 15 February in St Julian’s bay, Malta, and was attended by close to 40 participants. 
Short Session in March
ECL will be organising a short session during the forthcoming European Conference on Tobacco or Health (ECToH) to be held on 22-25 March in Porto, hosted by the Portuguese League Against Cancer. 
The session aims to present practical step-by-step guides to how the presented examples were designed and implemented, emphasising the scope for replication or transferral to other countries and regions. 
 European Conference on Tobacco or Health (ECTOH) 

The 7th European Conference on Tobacco or Health (ECTOH) will take place on March 22-25 2017, in Porto, Portugal.  
New tobacco products, recent findings and projects on prevention and cessation will be some of the key themes. The deadline for abstract submission is 17th October. Don't miss this important opportunity and check the updated program!
 ECToH Young Professional Award
The ECToH Young Professional Award is to recognize and support newer careerist professionals that have advanced tobacco control in areas of research, advocacy, policy and practice.
The award is to be granted to participants judged on the quality of the abstracts and their CVs submitted to the conference.
More than 15 applications were received.
Cancon Final Conference 
Over 200 experts from all over Europe and Malta participated in Cancon Final conference 14-15 February 2017 with high-level speakers. Three years of Cancon joint action resulted in various recommendations for improving cancer control.
Two days of Cancon conference in Malta concentrated in discussing the outcomes in detail.
The Danish Cancer Society presents
Honorary Award
Each year the Danish Cancer Society marks World Cancer Day by presenting the Danish Cancer Society's Honorary Award to a person or a group who has made a special effort dealing with cancer patients.
This year the award was handed over to Professor, consultant Inge Marie Svane, 52, who is one of Denmark's experts in cancer immunotherapy. The award was handed over by Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary at a ceremony at The Royal Theatre, Skuespilhuset, in Copenhagen.
The effect of higher Tobacco Control Scale scores
In Porto, we will present the result of the sixth edition of the Tobacco Control Scale (TCS). The TCS, which quantifies the implementation of tobacco control policies at country level, is based on six policies described by the World Bank and which they say should be prioritised in a comprehensive tobacco control programme.
The six policies are:
·        Price and tax policies
·        Smoke free legislation
·        Better consumer information
·        Advertising bans
·        Health warnings
·        Smoking cessation support
What has been the effect of higher Tobacco Control Scores?
Martinez-Sanchez and colleagues examined the relationship between TCS scores and smoking prevalence in the 27 EU countries and found that higher TCS scores were strongly associated with lower smoking prevalence.
In a study in 18 European countries Schaapand colleagues found a positive association between TCS scores and age standardised quit ratios. Hublet and colleagues examined the associations between tobacco control policies at country level, drawn from the TCS, and smoking prevalence in 15 year old adolescents in 29 European countries.
They found that policies on price, smoking in public and advertising bans may help to reduce smoking prevalence in boys, but that the associations were weaker for girls. Another study confirmed the relationship between secondhand smoke exposure in nonsmokers, as assessed by exhaled carbon monoxide, and TCS scores in the 27 EU countries.
More recently, the results of a thesis on European Control Policies have been presented in Amsterdam by Jizzo Bosdriesz on 25 January 2017. The Eurobarometer surveys were used in 27 countries from 2006 to 2012 (sample size 73,617 adults) to associate their answers with the Tobacco Control Scores. Bosdriesz found that higher TCS scores were strongly associated with lower smoking cessation rates among higher educated, but not among middle or lower educated respondents, which underlines the urgent need for specific policies to reach the low socio economic groups.

ECL Patients Support Working Group Meetings
March 20-21, Hungary
ECToH Congress
March 22-25, Porto, Portugal
ECL Annual Meetings
September 27-29, Copenhaguen, Denmark
Access to Medicines Task Force Meeting
September 27th 2017, 13.30-17.00, Copenhagen, Denmark
Thanks for reading!
This newsletter is the result of activities that have received funding under an operating grant from the European Union’s Health Programme (2014-2020). The views expressed in this newsletter do not necessarily reflect the official views of the EU institutions.