EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, presents the elimination of cancers caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) as one of the Flagship initiatives of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan during the #EUCanBeatCancer event: United against Cancer on 3 February 2021. The panel discussion was joined by Dr Matti Aapro, President of the European Cancer Organisation.
The Network was delighted to see its key goals on the elimination of all the cancers caused by HPV adopted by Europe's Beating Cancer Plan, which was launched on 3 February 2021. The Plan contains major commitments on gender-neutral HPV vaccination and cervical cancer screening that take account of the case we presented in our major report Viral Protection: Achieving the Possible. A Four Step Plan for Eliminating HPV Cancers in Europe.
Published in October 2020, the report set out a four-step plan for eliminating HPV cancers in Europe and formed the basis for the Network’s advocacy work on the Beating Cancer Plan. The report called for the implementation of gender-neutral HPV vaccination programmes and effective cervical cancer screening programmes in all European countries as well as the adoption of best-practice treatments for all patients with cancers caused by HPV, and improved HPV education and awareness programmes for both patients and health professionals.
We will now work with the European Commission on effective implementation of the new Cancer Plan and discuss with WHO Europe and others how the new EU strategy can be extended across the whole European region. In our discussions with WHO, which follow its adoption of a new global strategy for cervical cancer elimination in November 2020, we will emphasise the opportunity that now exists for Europe to play a world-leading role through making the elimination of all the cancers caused by HPV an objective shared by all European countries.
As part of our advocacy work on the Cancer Plan, the Network’s Co-Chair, Daniel Kelly, presented the case for gender-neutral HPV vaccination throughout the EU to the Special Committee on Beating Cancer (BECA) at a public hearing at the European Parliament on 2 December 2020. Daniel Kelly emphasised that Europe now has a great opportunity to take a lead globally in eliminating all HPV-caused cancers. His comments were very well-received by MEPs.
Daniel Kelly outlined the opportunity for the Europe's Beating Cancer Plan to adopt the inspiring goal of eliminating HPV caused cancers in Europe during the Special Committee on Beating Cancer (BECA) public hearing at the European Parliament on 2 December 2020. More information here and on our Twitter feed here.
The HPV Action Network hosted a session “Viral Protection: Achieving the Possible. The elimination of HPV cancers in Europe” at the European Cancer Summit 2020 on 18 & 19 November. The session was very well-received and generated significant feedback via Chat. Two resolutions were passed calling for action to tackle the disruption caused to cervical cancer screening programmes by the COVID-19 pandemic and to address the impact of anti-vaccination misinformation on public confidence in HPV vaccination.
Panel discussion at the European Cancer Summit 2020 session “Viral Protection: Achieving the Possible. The elimination of HPV cancers in Europe”.
In February 2021, the Network hosted a webinar with keynote speaker Prof Walter Ricciardi, Chair of the EU Cancer Mission. The aim was to discuss the next steps in eliminating the cancers caused by HPV following the publication of Europe's Beating Cancer Plan. Other speakers included Prof Margaret Stanley (IPVS President), Prof Murat Gultekin (ESGO), Dr Laia Bruni (Catalan Institute of Technology), David Winterflood (Anal Cancer Foundation) and Alessandra Moretti MEP. A report on the webinar is available here and a video here.
The HPV Action Network was established following the 2019 European Cancer Summit. At this meeting, over 300 cancer community stakeholders agreed this resolution: ‘By 2030, effective strategies to eliminate cancers caused by HPV as a public health problem should be implemented in all European countries’.
The Summit was soon followed by the launch of the European Cancer Organisation’s HPV Action Network at the European Parliament in Brussels in December 2019 with the support of Professor Véronique Trillet-Lenoir MEP (Renew Europe, France), Vice-Chair of the MEPs Against Cancer Group. The Network brings together organisations and individuals from a wide range of backgrounds who share the ambitious but highly achievable goal of eliminating all the cancers and other diseases caused by HPV across the European region.
HPV (human papillomavirus) is a very common sexually transmitted infection that causes 4.5% of all cancers in men and women worldwide and about 2.5% of cancers in Europe. Cervical cancer is the most commonly-caused cancer but HPV is also responsible for a high proportion of anal, penile, vaginal, vulval and oropharyngeal cancers. Up to 20-30% of HPV cancers affect men. HPV also causes genital warts and recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP), a rare but disabling breathing condition.
Follow the HPV Action Network’s activities on Twitter @HPVAction.
To find out more about this Network, or support our work, please contact us here.