Pharma.be, the Belgian Pharmaceutical Industry Association, is boasting of “the leading role played by Belgium as a global research hub in the fight against cancer,” on the occasion of World Cancer Day on Wednesday February 4th. According to the association, “currently, at least 513 clinical research studies into new cancer drugs are taking place in Belgian centres, which amounts to one third of all clinical studies in our country. Thanks to these studies, over 228,000 Belgian patients have had quick and free access to new cancer treatments over the last 6 years. Furthermore, the reimbursement of 15 cancer drugs was approved last year. The European Medicines Agency is expected to approve several pioneering treatments developed in part in Belgium in 2015,” adds the association.
Pharma.be stresses the importance of research in the fight against cancer: “since 1980, average life expectancy for cancer patients increased by 3 years, 2.5 of which are due to new treatments.” Several measures are planned throughout the country to mark World Cancer Day. On Wednesday from 10:00am to 4:00pm, the King Albert Institute of the Saint-Luc University Clinics is offering the opportunity to discuss the most common forms of cancer pathologies with its cancer specialists. The Cancer Foundation should be setting up a Facebook page to share thanks to everyone involved in the fight against this illness.
According to the latest figures available for Belgium, 65,269 new cases of cancer were diagnosed in 2012. Approximately one in 3 men and 25 % of women will suffer from cancer before they turn 75. Prostate, lung and colon cancer are the most frequent among men, while women suffer most from breast, colorectal and lung cancer.