SIOP Europe’s List of Essential Medicines for Children and Adolescents with Cancer in Europe Published in The Lancet Oncology
Fostering Access to Anticancer Medicines for all Children and Adolescents who Need them across Europe
Brussels, Belgium – Building on the previous success of the SIOP Europe Access to Medicines Project – where new paediatric cancer medicines and tumour indications were crosslinked and added to the World Health Organisation Essential Medicines List for Children (EMLc) 2021, we are delighted to announce that SIOP Europe has published the first-ever standalone summary of anticancer medicines considered essential in the treatment of paediatric cancer in Europe in The Lancet Oncology.
Project results are designed to address needs of children and adolescents with cancer in Europe, to support and guide stakeholders in the field of paediatric oncology and to reflect the current standard of care. Still today, medicine shortages and unequal access are observed in Europe.
The project categorised paediatric cancer types into 16 working groups according to existing SIOP Europe Clinical Trial Groups (ECTGs). Each working group consisted of representatives from the ECTGs and Young SIOPE members. They have reviewed the currently used treatment protocols and existing literature for their type of cancer and identified the medicines considered essential. Finally, the essential medicines from each working group were combined into SIOP Europe’s list of essential medicines for children and adolescents with cancer in Europe.
This list of essential anticancer medicines for children and adolescents created by the SIOP Europe Access to Medicines Project can be considered alongside the WHO EMLc. The list contains an overview of medicines considered essential from a medical perspective, independent of cost. With the results from this project, we aim to support medical staff, patient and parent organisations, governments and other stakeholders. The list can be used for negotiations to advocate and ensure continuous access to those medicines 24/7 for every child and adolescent with cancer across Europe. In addition, due to the methodology applied, medicines defined as essential within this project and for a certain type of cancer may also be used as the reference outside Europe.
Progress in research with new findings from clinical trials and the development of new treatment protocols and medicines requires regular updates of this project. Hence, these updates are planned to be performed in the coming years. Based on the information collected within this project, we are excited to submit additional applications to the WHO EMLc in the future.
SIOP Europe is grateful to see an increasing number of medicines for children with cancer recognised as essential. Thus, the European childhood cancer community looks forward to the opportunity of continued dialogue and cooperation with relevant stakeholders across Europe and is keen to keep helping in reducing inequalities in access to medicines for this undeserved population.
The manuscript in The Lancet Oncology is available via this link.