On 1st March 2017, 24 thematic European Reference Networks began to work, gathering together over 900 highly specialised healthcare units from 26 countries. Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said that thousands of patients will benefit from this EU initiative tackling rare and complex diseases.
The paediatric oncology European Reference Network (ERN PaedCan) – developed thanks to the ExPO-r-Net project – has therefore officially started. The goal of this ERN is to improve childhood cancer patients’ outcomes by reducing the current inequalities in different member states and establishing mechanisms to facilitate movement of information, guidelines and knowledge rather than patients.
Over the past years, ExPO-r-Net partners managed to consolidate the preconditions for this large multinational network, which will link pre-existing reference centres inherent to the established European Clinical Trial Groups (ECTGs) and thus represent a clear framework for providing high-level diagnostic and medical expertise to rare childhood cancer populations. The European Committee of Childhood Cancer International (CCI) will be also involved in this ERN’s implementation.