NCU strategy for the years 2015-2018

 

The Nordic Cancer Union (NCU), established in 1949, is a collaborative body for the cancer societies in the Nordic countries. The NCU is comprised of six organizations: Danish Cancer Society, Cancer Society of Finland, Icelandic Cancer Society, Norwegian Cancer Society, Swedish Cancer Society and Faroese Cancer Society. The aim of the NCU is collaboration to improve knowledge and understanding of cancer diseases, their effective prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. The principal role of the NCU is to provide a forum for the national cancer societies in the Nordic countries to meet and exchange relevant information about national and international activities, best practices and future plans.
 

 

The members of the Nordic Cancer Union have a common vision: “more life without cancer and the best possible life for those with cancer and their families.” The challenge of today is an increasing number of elderly people and their risk of contracting cancer, combined with the gap in knowledge of important risk factors and population behaviour. The Cancer Societies cannot solve this problem, but they can create a basis for well-founded advocacy through the activities they support, and thus point to societal changes related to health and health care. Advocacy is thus a major pillar in the NCU strategy alongside collaboration and synergy in research, prevention and care.

 

In addition to providing a forum for information sharing, the NCU funds Nordic cancer research in accordance with the NCU Research Strategy. The NCU has also taken the initiative in common Nordic projects carried out by national cancer societies and different strategic projects. The NCU strategy is formed taking account of the similarities between the Nordic populations, totalling more than 25 million people. The Nordic populations live in relatively affluent and public-service-based environments with effective high-quality monitoring. Using this situation intelligently can significantly contribute to the global fight against cancer.  

 

This strategy is a reflection of the shared priorities of the national cancer societies in the Nordic countries. It is grounded in the NCU statutes, the NCU strategy for the years 2010-15, the NCU research strategy 2014 and the NCU proposal to the Nordic Council of Ministers on future collaboration. The strategy will provide guidance for the NCU in establishing joint projects and allocation of NCU funds, currently one million euro each year. 

 

There are five main points in this strategy, for each of which a number of implementation approaches are described. Targets will be developed as needed during the three-year period to which the strategy applies.

 

The main points of the 2015-18 strategy are:

 

1. Reduce risk of cancer; implement existing knowledge with the aim of preventing up to 40% of cancer diseases.

2. Improve life with cancer; optimal diagnosis and treatment according to high international standards including rehabilitation and palliative care as necessary.

3. Support joint and comparable monitoring of cancer and outcome as a basis for equal and best possible care, and clinical research.

4. Nordic countries as leaders in excellent collaborative cancer research, both basic and clinical, utilising the special conditions related to well-monitored populations and national biorepositories.

5. Joint up-to-date information on cancer to the public, and common Nordic advocacy to influence public policy in the Nordic countries and globally.

 


NCU strategy for the years 2010-2015

 

 

CONTENTS

Preamble
Unique position of the Nordic countries
Aim and objectives of NCU
Priorities for funding in 2006-2010
Improved quality control and follow-up
Enhanced co-operation and exchange of information
Annex 1: Finances

 

1. Preamble

An important part of the collaboration within the NCU has been to finance Nordic cancer research of high quality. This co-operation has stimulated Nordic cancer research in general and created synergy. Joint programs have increased knowledge on Nordic cancer problems and ways to solve them and illustrated which joint actions are not cost-effective. Networking has also stimulated individual cancer societies and led to fruitful advocacy in international arenas.

This strategy is an expression of the common priorities of the Nordic Cancer Union during 2010-2015. The main emphasis is to support cancer research of high standard based on Nordic synergies and strategic cancer issues and advocacy.

The strategy will direct allocation of NCU funds in line with the stated priorities. An update of the activities based on the strategy shall be made on a yearly basis.

The Nordic Cancer Union wishes to raise the awareness of decision-makers and authorities at the national, Nordic and EU level of the relevance of the priorities stated in this strategy.
 


2. Unique position of the Nordic countries

The Nordic countries have a total population of approximately 25 million people. This is a population characterised by being relatively homogeneous in a number of fields, such as culture, living conditions, public health services and level of registration.

The Nordic countries have special preconditions for carrying out extensive representative studies of the population by involving the many databases that exist in the Nordic countries. The Nordic countries have well-functioning national registers – including cancer registers established already in the 1940ies and 1950ies, personal identity systems, free access to the public health service, biological banks of a high quality and populations that are actively contributing to healthcare research. The unique Nordic environment is a favourable soil for collaboration and joint projects in research and documentation within the cancer field.

There is also long-lasting collaboration between national cancer organisations in the Nordic countries. The Nordic Cancer Union (NCU), established already in 1949, is comprised of six organisations: Danish Cancer Society, Cancer Society of Finland, Icelandic Cancer Society, Norwegian Cancer Society, Swedish Cancer Society and Faroese Cancer Society.

 

3. Aim and objectives of NCU

The aim of the Nordic Cancer Union is collaboration to improve knowledge and understanding of cancer diseases, effective prevention, results of cancer treatment and rehabilitation; and to enhance their effective application in the Nordic area.

In order to promote this aim NCU focuses on the following objectives:

to fund Nordic research and strategic projects of high standards within the field of cancer
to be a body for exchange of experiences and co-operation on relevant strategic issues.
 


4. Priorities for 2010-2015

Cancer research (Scientific Committee)

Research orientation will be the first priority of NCU in the coming 5-year-period. NCU takes a role in encouraging collaborative cancer research of high quality involving several countries within the Nordic research community.

Recognising the importance of disease oriented basic research and clinical trials special attention will be given to cancer epidemiology in order to increase understanding of the causes of cancer, cancer incidence and the course of cancer diseases. This is the basis for developing effective and goal-oriented prevention of cancer. It is estimated that 85% of the total cancer incidence is due to detrimental influence from the environment and from life style. Today we know the specific causes of cancer with regard to approx. 35% of the cancer incidence.

Strategic cancer issues and advocacy (Secretary General)

Strategic projects derive from the needs in defining future political initiatives. Funding for other strategic projects and initiatives will be considered.

Another priority area is rehabilitation of cancer patients including increased understanding of psychological, social and physical aspects in relation to cancer diagnosis, cancer treatment, living with cancer as well as the changes in life after being a cancer patient. Still more patients are being cured or live longer with cancer. Many of these people have serious late consequences of the treatment and therefore special initiatives are needed in order to ensure that they have the best possible life. There is a need for knowledge of the best way to organise the rehabilitation efforts.

Special emphasis in this area is given to research-related projects cost of cancer. Knowledge and documentation on cancer diseases (e.g. cancer incidence and mortality, survival after a cancer diagnosis) in each individual country identifies fields in which improvements are needed. Comparisons between the Nordic countries are extremely essential for the work on cancer programmes, including the prioritising of the efforts.

Developments are taking place continuously with regard to diagnostic and treatment issues. The gathering of data, analysis and evaluation of these developments provide essential knowledge for improving results of cancer prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care. Continuous monitoring and evaluation also raise media attention in the field.

Strategic projects and issues can also include the training of researchers as well as other projects on problems of current interest that are essential to cancer control.

 

5. Improved quality control and follow-up

Project assessment

The composition of the scientific committee shall ensure an extensive and profound expertise. With regard to grants a distinction is made between cancer research and strategic projects and issues. In both categories grants are based on the demand for the best quality and peer review.

The scientific committee makes final decisions concerning grants for cancer research, and gives consultation concerning applications for strategic projects to the secretaries general for their final decisions on grants to such activities. The secretaries general shall have control of strategic projects by identifying the themes of high value to the NCU.

Project evaluation
Evaluation of funded research and strategic projects shall be enhanced in order to ensure effective use of resources and to follow-up the application of the research results in the Nordic countries.

Presentation of a final report will be required in the grant allowance.

It is important to ensure an effective collaboration between the secretaries general and the scientific committee.

 

6. Enhanced co-operation and exchange of information

In addition to funding research and strategic projects, NCU is a body for exchange of experiences and co-operation between its member organisations. This function is fulfilled through regular meetings between the secretaries general.

Information is exchanged about campaigns, activities, discussions and other ongoing processes at national level. Developments in the international field (especially ANCR, Nordic Council of Ministers, ECL, UICC, EORTC and EU) are also monitored and discussed.

The secretaries general may launch joint statements and advocacy on issues of NCU-relevance.

 

Annex 1

 

Finances


The basis for this strategy is that an amount of 1,2 million euro per year is allocated.

The funding of the secretariat function will be secured this amount.

The basis is that the yearly allocation of funds is a minimum of 0.75 million euro for cancer research and 0.25 million euro for strategic projects. This distribution is flexible, depending on the prioritising of the issues by the Board.

The NCU allocates funds to cover max. 3 years. In connection with the decision on the budget for the coming year decisions are also made on the budgeted amounts for the following 2 years.

The share of costs between the NCU members in the coming 5-year-period is based on the following table:

Cost allocation between NCU members in 2005-2010

(% of the NCU budget)

  

Cost allocation between NCU members in 2010-2015

(% of the NCU budget)

 

Country 2010-2015

Denmark

28,0

Faroe Islands

0,2

Finland

15

Norway

27,8

Sweden

28,0

Iceland

1,0

TOTAL

100,0

 

 



Cost allocation between NCU members in 2005-2010

(% of the NCU budget)

 

Country 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010

Denmark

24,6

26,8

27,0

28,0

28,0

28,0

Faroe Islands

0

0,2

0,2

0,2

0,2

0,2

Finland

10,3

11,0

12,0

13,0

13,8

15,0

Norway

21,3

24,0

25,8

28,0

28,0

27,8

Sweden

42,8

37,0

34,0

29,8

29,0

28,0

Iceland

1,0

1,0

1,0

1,0

1,0

1,0

TOTAL

100,0

100,0

100,0

100,0

100,0

100,0