NCU strategy for the years 2019-2021
The NCU Board decided 29. August 2017, that the existing Strategic Plan 2015-2018, including the 5 earlier overall defined themes, will be continued in the period 2019-2021.
The Board made the decision on the basis of the Boards thorough review of the NCU statutes during 2015-2016 and concluded that NCU’s statutes are up-to-date and constitute a consistent framework that allows NCU to raise issues and act if / when there is desire and will.
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:
These points will be continued in 2019-2021
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.
1.0 Reduce the risk of cancer; implement existing knowledge to prevent up to 40% of cancer diseases.
1. The NCU will promulgate evidence for best practice on cancer preventions to the Nordic public and to decision makers, in the native languages.
2. The NCU will promote research, development and evaluation of methods to modify population behaviour towards a healthier lifestyle.
3. The NCU will by its actions, as far as possible, raise awareness of governments in the Nordic countries of the necessity to counteract socioeconomic differences in the Nordic populations.
2.0 Improve life with cancer; support optimal diagnosis and treatment for all according to highest international standard including rehabilitation and palliative care as necessary.
1. The NCU will work for the development of evidence-based, targeted, high-impact cancer services in the Nordic countries, delivering services to every cancer patient at the highest international standard for the given disease in the most effective way.
2. Free movement of cancer patients in the Nordic countries – the NCU will support the availability of relevant information for Nordic cancer patients, GPs and other health care professionals , so that informed decisions can be made on where and how treatment and care can best be provided.
3. The NCU will, where it identifies gaps in treatment and support between the Nordic countries, work for changes in cancer services as needed in order to establish best practice.
4. The NCU will support and facilitate information flow and use of expertise in the region, sharing of new results for fast implementation in treatment and care, and conduct of joint clinical trials. Focus will be where population impact will be high (frequent cancers) and where the Nordic countries can provide significant results adding to global knowledge (rare cancers).
3.0 Support joint and comparable monitoring of cancer and outcome as a basis for equal and best possible care, and clinical research.
1. The NCU will as a founding body for cancer registration, and hence of monitoring of several decades of cancer in the Nordic countries, continue and expand its collaboration with the ANCR and promote and use the data in their activities.
2. The NCU will promote and support the development of clinical-quality databases, including patient-reported measures, and cross-border collaboration on clinical-quality data with a view to free movement of patients and best possible care, and Nordic expert collaboration, and highly specialised treatment in the Nordic region with special focus on rare cancers.
3. The NCU will work together to remove practical, legal and ethical obstacles to common use of data for research and patient care, and support and/or propose a common model for mutual recognition of ethical reviews in the Nordic Region, and to facilitate the use of personal data in cross-border research.
4. The NCU will promote activities to strengthen the research infrastructure for cancer in the Nordic region.
4.0 Nordic countries as leader in excellent collaborative cancer research both basic and clinical, utilising the special conditions related to well-monitored populations and national biorepositories
1. The NCU will strengthen cancer research using population-based registers across the Nordic region, including causes of cancer, treatment outcome and long-term follow-up, comorbidity, patient safety, quality of life, organisation and functionality of health care, cost of cancer, planning and sharing of care facilities.
2. The NCU will support the work of the Nordic Trial Alliance in collaboration with other interested parties, to increase non-pharma-driven clinical research in improved treatment, follow-up, rehabilitation and palliative care of cancer patients.
3. The NCU will promote joint research on personalised oncology, where a large population base is needed to properly evaluate results.
4. The NCU will promote health-service research in order to better understand and work towards an optimal healthcare system in a Nordic setting, and to share best practices across administrative and national borders.
5.0 Joint up-to-date information on cancer to the public and common Nordic advocacy to influence public policy in the Nordic and EU countries.
1. The NCU will collaborate on information to the public on cancer diseases and their treatment.
2. The NCU will collaborate on monitoring of research results and promulgating findings to the general public.
3. The NCU will collaborate on advocacy targeting domestic governments, the Nordic Council of Ministers and other relevant international bodies.
4. The NCU will partner with existing bodies relevant for the cancer agenda in order to achieve synergy and maximal advocacy power for political change and commitment in the Nordic, European and international arenas.