Improving liver cancer care in Europe


A new white paper from the European Association of Liver Patients (ELPA) and the organization Digestive Cancers Europe calls for increased equality of best practices for the prevention, diagnosis and management of liver cancer in Europe.

Most liver cancers occur as part of cirrhosis, often caused by alcohol-related liver disease, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, and viral hepatitis. These causes are preventable and increasingly treatable, but the burden of malignant liver tumors in Europe has increased dramatically over the past decade. Advances in patient care have not been implemented consistently, with widespread socio-economic and regional disparities in outcomes across the continent. For example, over the past decade, considerable progress has been made in the treatment of liver disease, from the emergence of direct-acting antivirals for hepatitis C to the approval of atezolizumab- bevacizumab for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma, but access to these therapies differs considerably both between and within European countries.

To address these challenges, the new report calls on stakeholders in European countries to act in five key areas: increasing knowledge about liver cancer by funding research and improving cancer registries; tackle risk factors to prevent disease, for example by adhering to the WHO action plan to combat viral hepatitis; ensure that appropriate European clinical practice guidelines for screening, surveillance and treatment are followed; and involve and empower patients, both in research and in care.

Only by actively addressing the barriers to better care and investing in the right way can Europe provide equitable services to people at risk and living with liver cancer, and ensure that no patients is left behind.


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