EU project to improve clinical practice guidelines for cancer across Europe

Ensuring that the latest results from cancer research are translated into clinical practice guidelines across Europe is the goal of the EU-funded CoCanCPG (Coordination of Cancer Clinical
Practice Guidelines in Europe) project.

Most European countries now have clinical practice guideline (CPG) programmes designed to promote the translation of research results into clinical practice. Nevertheless, despite continual
developments in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, survival rates vary widely across Europe. Previous work by the CoCanCPG consortium revealed high levels of duplication and fragmentation
within many of these programmes.

The new project brings together 17 organisations involved in the funding and management of national or regional cancer guidelines programmes from across Europe. It is funded by the Sixth
Framework Programme (FP6) as an ERA-NET. Together, the partners will work on the joint management of mutually relevant priorities in cancer guidelines development and research with the goal of
avoiding duplication and fragmentation. In this way, they hope to improve the timely translation of cancer research results into cancer care practices.

The project partners have already started their work, having carried out a benchmarking exercise of the CPG programmes of the project partners. This enabled the partners to share information
and revealed a number of differences between them in terms of programme size, organisational structure and distribution of capacity. Large budget differences also came to light, with some CPGs
having just ?4,000 at their disposal while others have ?450,000.

This benchmarking exercise will form the basis for future joint activities for guidelines development, and help to bring together a critical mass for research into guidelines methods. These
efforts will be further boosted by the creation of a common platform for sharing information and skills. The platform will provide information on clinical research priorities by highlighting
areas where further evidence is still needed. It will be accessible to health professionals, policy-makers and patients alike.

Ultimately, the project partners hope to create a sustainable structure for increasing coordination and cooperation among individual programmes that will last well beyond the end of the
project.

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