The XV Journalists Seminar, organized by the Spanish Society of Medical Oncology (SEOM) and the Msd Biopharmaceutical Company, They have addressed early-stage cancer and precision medicine as a central theme and how it can help in the management of the disease. SEOM’s president, Dr. Enriqueta Feliphas pointed out that “preventive activities, early diagnosis campaigns and therapeutic advances have contributed to the fact that, in general, cancer mortality in Spain has experienced a sharp decline in recent decades, although this is not a report in all tumors or by sex”.
The experts have taken advantage of the meeting to launch an alert to all the autonomous communities, since for the screened be Effective must exceed 70% of the population, something that does not happen and for which we must continue working to achieve higher levels of participation. For this, they believe that the need to carry out these early studies should continue to be disseminated, as well as vaccinations such as for HPV, in sectors of the population at risk.
This meeting, which has been entitled Understanding early stage cancer, The need for early diagnosis of cancer increases the chances of a cure has been underlined: diagnosing cancer in its preliminary stages makes it possible for tumors to be successfully removed and treated more effectively. Because in Spain, like the surrounding countries, survival has doubled in the last 40 years. Something that should stimulate to continue working at a key moment to end this disease.
Dr. José María Borrás, scientific coordinator of the Cancer Strategy of the National Health System, pointed out that there are currently three recommended screenings: breast cancer through mammograms every two years in women between the ages of 50 and 69; colon and rectum, by detecting occult blood in feces in people between 50 and 69 years of age, and that of the cervix, by detecting the human papillomavirus (HPV), in combination with vaccination.
«Some of the pending challenges is facing overdiagnosis and overtreatment or the debate on whether opportunistic screening has a positive role from an individual perspective -that which is carried out between 40 and 49 years old- and if it is sufficient or we should only defend the population benefit of fairness,” he admitted Jose Maria Borras. He stressed that the screenings are uneven in Spain, but gave the Basque Country as an example, comparable to countries like Denmark and where it is used by up to 80% of the population.
As for breast cancer, which represents one of the biggest public health problems in developed countries, both because of its incidence as well as its mortality, since it is the most frequent malignant tumor and the first cause of death from cancer in women. In fact, in Spain, between 40 and 75 new cases of this malignant tumor are diagnosed every year for every 100,000 women and there are around 6,000 deaths a year from this disease.
For this reason, 30% breast cancer and colon They are diagnosed early, something that encourages us to continue working so that there is greater adherence and equity when it comes to achieving earlier detection. But for there to be optimal screening, the population must attend these studies in percentages greater than 70%.
In order to have a better early diagnosis, the importance of a multidisciplinary approach is essential. So the doctors Maria Jose Safont, oncologist of the Consortium of the General University Hospital of Valencia, the director of the Molecular Biology Laboratory of the Pathology Service of the Vall d’Hebron Hospital, Javier hernandez and the member of the Spanish Society of Oncology Nursing (SEEO), Nuria Domenbechhave highlighted the complexity of the diagnostic-therapeutic process of cancer and that its coordination and organized communication between the different specialists involved is essential.
The case nurse it is very important to accompany the patient, to inform him and above all anticipating the needs and care he will need in the future. “We can address many more functions, but for this we need to be present in all the hospitals, something that is not currently the case,” commented Nuria Domenbech.
The doctor Enriqueta Felip asked in this group of experts about the specialty of nursing in this oncology area, to which Nuria Domenbech pointed out that this specialty is vital and that not just any nurse is useful, but rather it must be those who are fully trained. «To work in the Oncology service, an expert and prepared nurse is needed».
MSD Biopharmaceutical Research
Another of the debate blocks on action on the early stages of cancer, the biopharmaceutical company MSD, addressed its research work. Thus, the executive director of Clinical Research at MSD Spain, Lourdes López-Bravo, highlighted the importance of carrying out research in earlier stages. “It can help us propose new alternatives and that all patients have access to drugs already on the market.”
Spain, the time cycles for the clinical trial are attractive for almost 1,000 clinical trials to be carried out last year in our country: of these, almost 7,000 patients have benefited from them.
MSD is the first company in the world to carry out oncology clinical trials. “Our commitment is with patients, with prevention, diagnosis and innovative treatments.”
Neoadjuvant and adjuvant
In this last meeting of the XV Journalists Seminar, organized by the Spanish Society of Medical Oncology (SEOM) and the Msd Biopharmaceutical Company, Neoadjuvant and adjuvant therapy was discussed with Dr. César Rodríguez, vice president of SEON, and doctors Margarita Majem and Dolores Isla.
Dr. Rodríguez affirmed that “neoadjuvant treatment in breast cancer allows a much more selective selection of systematic therapies based on the biological characteristics of the tumor, which has led to a significant increase in the efficacy of treatment based on a more selective approach.” with a precision medicine strategy.