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Parliamentary questions
28 June 2013
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 117
Philippe Juvin (PPE) , Glenis Willmott (S&D) , Antonyia Parvanova (ALDE)

 Subject:  Fight against childhood cancer

According to a study published in the French weekly epidemiological report(1), in 2011 tumours were the second most common cause of death in France among children between the ages of 1 and 14, accounting for 21% of male deaths and 20% of female deaths. Some 2 500 new cases of childhood cancer are recorded in France each year, of which 1 700 concern children between the ages of 1 and 14. The figures are similar for the United Kingdom, where 1 600 children in this age group are diagnosed with cancer every year(2).

The limited data available at European level shows that the situation is even worse in some Eastern European countries, where the incidence of cancer is even higher.

The number of childhood-cancer cases in Europe has been increasing by 1% to 3% each year over the past 30 years, with a marked rise since 2010.

Children are often overlooked in the fight against cancer. In the case of France, for example, only 2% of cancer research funding is dedicated to research into childhood cancers.

The main reasons for this are:
mismatched treatment protocols and a severe lack of tailored therapy,
scant research into new molecules for treating childhood cancers, which has now been stopped altogether for reasons of non-profitability,
no effective chemotherapy treatment properly adapted to children,
insufficient national and European funding for specialised research (basic, translational and clinical) and excessively short-term subsidies.
1. Given the lack of European indicators and data on the development of childhood cancers, mortality rates and the treatments available, might the Commission consider conducting an impact assessment?
2. Given the severity of the situation, does the Commission intend to legislate in this area? If so, what are its priorities?
3. Might the Commission consider creating a specific resource for funding research programmes and actions in the fight against childhood cancer?
4. Might the Commission consider dedicating more funding to childhood-cancer research?
5. Does the Commission see any other initiatives that could be put in place in this area at EU and/or Member State level?

(1) Bulletin épidémiologique hebdomadaire, 7 June 2011, n°22: http://www.invs.sante.fr/beh/2011/22/beh_22_2011.pdf
(2) Cancer Research UK, 14 November 2012: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-info/cancerstats/childhoodcancer/incidence/.

Original language of question: FROJ C 56 E, 27/02/2014
Last updated: 17 July 2013Legal notice