Vagn Jespersen (Danish Lung Cancer Association and ELF lung cancer patient advisory group) attended a workshop on the challenges of approving anti-cancer immunotherapeutic drugs on 4–5 February, 2016 in London.
The workshop was organised by the European Medicines Agency and the Cancer Drug Development Forum and was a mix of keynote speakers, panel discussions and a networking dinner. Immunotherapy drugs have brought important advances in patient care and have considerably changed the landscape of treatment options for people with melanoma and lung cancer. However there are still many challenges on how to bring these treatments through regulatory approval and into clinical practice.
Discussions included the challenges of combining immunotherapies with targeted therapies, developing novel immune–oncology combinations, biomarkers, and evaluating effectiveness, including patient reported outcomes and patient perspectives.
Of 120 participants, Vagn was the only patient among leading doctors, scientists, European regulators and representatives from the industry in Europe and the USA, and was able to contribute to discussions and highlight some of the ethical issues that may arise in clinical trials.
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