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Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan: What Will Success Look Like?

September 1, 2020 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

This virtual event is hosted by POLITICO. For the most updated information and to RSVP, visit their event and registration page.

Before the health crisis reached Europe’s shore, Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan was the European Commission number one priority and flagship initiative in health care. When outlining the priorities for her mandate, European Commission President Von der Leyen called for a wide-ranging plan to tackle cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment, life as a cancer survivor, and palliative care.

While drawing up a holistic strategy to tackle cancer is no mean feat in normal times, the coronavirus pandemic has since heavily disrupted health systems and health policy making.

  • What are good benchmarks for success for this new cancer plan? And are they achievable with health policy being mostly a member state competence?
  • How is the coronavirus pandemic affecting the Commission’s strategy both in terms of process and substance? Can the cancer plan and recovery plan help tackle the disruptive effect of the crisis on cancer screenings and diagnostics?
  • Which other practical lessons from the crisis can be incorporated in both plans – in terms of new care models, deployment of e-health solutions and access to basic and more complex treatments among others?
  • For an end-to-end strategy, what is the right balance between funding innovative new – often personalized – treatment; ensuring wider access; and improving prevention and care? How can the whole health care ecosystem collaborate more effectively to make it work?
  • What remains to be done to harness the full potential of European health data in cancer control and care? Has the coronavirus crisis taught Europe lessons on the opportunities and challenges of data sharing?

POLITICO is convening a panel of policy makers, medical professionals, patients and health experts to debate what success will look like for Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan and how the EU can get there.


11:00am ET: Registration
11:30am ET: Welcome Remarks by POLITICO’s moderator, Sarah Wheaton, senior health reporter, POLITICO
11:35am ET: Opening Remarks by our partner, Bayer
11:40am ET: Panel Discussion followed by Q&A

  • Matti Aapro, president, European Cancer Organization
  • Bettina Ryll, founder, Melanoma Patient Network Europe
  • John F. Ryan, director, public health, country knowledge, crisis management, Directorate General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE), European Commission

Moderated by Sarah Wheaton, senior health reporter, POLITICO
12:30pm ET: End of event


Matti Aapro, president, European Cancer Organization

Matti Aapro is a medical Oncologist and is president-elect of the European Cancer Organization (ECCO) for 2010-2022. He is also a member of the Board of Directors at Genolier Cancer Center, in Switzerland and a member of the Executive Board at ESO (European School of Oncology) and SIOG (International Society for Geriatric Oncology). He was director of the department of Medicine and Radiography during the founding of the European Institute of Oncology in Milan, Italy. His main interests are the development of new pharmacological treatments, breast cancer, cancer in the elderly and supportive care. He has been a board member of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) and president of MASCC (Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer). He has also been a member of the Executive Board of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) . Aapro received his PhD in Medicine from the Faculty of Medicine at the Geneva of University in Switzerland and did part of his medical training at the Anticancer Center in Tuscon, Arizona (USA).

Bettina Ryll, founder, Melanoma Patient Network Europe

Bettina Ryll is the founder of the Melanoma Patient Network Europe and is the current chair of the ESMO Patient Advocates Working Group (PAWG). After losing her husband to melanoma, she founded the Melanoma Patient Network Europe and developed a special interest in patient-centric clinical research, in particular, innovative trial designs and novel drug development concepts, such as MAPPS (medicines’ adaptive pathways to patients), previously known as Adaptive Licensing. Lately, her focus has moved to sustainable healthcare models ensuring access to innovative therapies for cancer patients and incentives for sustainable innovation. Ryll is involved in numerous initiatives promoting evidence-based advocacy. She is fascinated by the enormous potential and capacity of patient networks to both educate and support patients as well as to capture data at the primary data source – the patients themselves – and to generate evidence at a granular level non-accessible to outsiders. Ryll holds a medical degree from the Free University of Berlin, Germany and a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from University College London, UK.

John F. Ryan, director, public health, country knowledge, crisis management, Directorate General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE), European Commission

John F. Ryan is Director of the Commission Public Health, country knowledge, crisis management directorate since September 2016. Before that, in the same department, he was the head of unit responsible for a number of public health policy areas (cancer, drugs, promotion, monitoring, infectious diseases). He was a Commission representative on the Board of the EU Lisbon Drugs Agency, and is currently the Commission representative on the Board of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. He also had the charge of dealing with tobacco control issues. Current priorities include the development of an EU cancer plan, antimicrobial resistance, vaccination policies, and the negotiation of financial instruments to support health, including research. He has previously worked on the completion of the internal market, and on international trade negotiations. He is also an official of the Irish civil service (on leave). He is a fellow of the UK faculty of public health.

This event is co-sponsored by Bayer.


September 1, 2020
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
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