Advanced cancer diagnostics

HPP worked with a multidisciplinary group of experts to develop a report outlining the policy actions needed to prepare health systems for the future of cancer diagnosis.


While cancer outcomes are improving for some people, others continue to face a poor outlook. People with a cancer diagnosed at a late stage face especially poor outcomes.

Advanced diagnostics – which are currently largely only available in clinical trials or specialist hospitals – are the basis on which we could see significant improvements in cancer outcomes. They present an opportunity for people with cancer to benefit from improved survival and quality of life due to more accurate and earlier diagnosis coupled with more effective, targeted treatments and fewer severe side effects from treatments that are not likely to be effective.

Advanced diagnostics may also bring health system efficiencies by reducing the use of treatments that would be ineffective for an individual, and offering greater automation of diagnostic tools and clinical workflows – potentially freeing up time from an already overburdened workforce.

But health systems in Europe will not be able to realise the full benefits of advanced diagnostics unless all people have access to them.  It is therefore vital to understand and learn from the challenges that limit access to currently available diagnostics, to avoid exacerbating inequalities when advanced diagnostics become widely available.

What we’ve achieved

HPP developed a policy report alongside an expert multidisciplinary steering committee. The report details the potential of advanced diagnostics to transform outcomes for people with cancer. It also outlines the five priority areas in which policymakers need to take action so that the benefits of these innovative techniques become available across Europe.

Key partners and stakeholders

This project was developed with the support of the following partners and stakeholders:

  • Anne-Marie Baird, Senior Research Fellow at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland; President of Lung Cancer Europe, Switzerland
  • Petros Christopoulos, Professor of Medicine at Heidelberg University, Germany; Head of Scientific Coordination for the Thoracic Oncology Program in the Thoraxklinik at Heidelberg University Hospital, Germany
  • Tony Collier, Vice Chair and Trustee of Tackle Prostate Cancer, United Kingdom
  • Laura Cortesi, Director of Oncological Genetics at Modena University Hospital, Italy
  • Eva Jolly, Chief Coordinating Officer at Karolinska Comprehensive Cancer Centre, Sweden
  • Mark Lawler, Associate Pro-Vice–Chancellor and Professor of Digital Health at Queen’s University Belfast, United Kingdom; Scientific Director of the Health Data Research Hub for Cancer (DATA-CAN), United Kingdom; Co-Lead of the European Cancer Organisation’s Special Networks
  • Zorana Maravic, Chief Executive Officer of Digestive Cancers Europe, Belgium
  • Parker Moss, formerly Chief Partnership Officer at Genomics England, United Kingdom; now Executive Vice President at Exscientia, United Kingdom
  • Frédérique Penault-Llorca, Professor of Pathology at the University of Clermont-Ferrand, France; Director of Centre Jean Perrin UNICANCER; Deputy Director of the Molecular Imaging and Theranostic Strategies (IMoST) Research Unit, Clermont-Ferrand, France; and President of the Immuno-oncology Group at UNICANCER, France; Deputy President of UNICANCER Group, France; President of AFAQAP (French Association for Quality Assurance in Pathology); President of the Immuno-oncology group at UNICANCER R&D, France
  • Federico Rojo, Head of the Pathology Department, Leader of the Molecular Pathology Laboratory, Senior Physician in Pathology, and Scientific Director of the Biobank at Fundación Jiménez Díaz (FJD) University Hospital, Spain
  • Heinz-Peter Schlemmer, Head of the Radiology Department at the German Cancer Research Center, Germany; Professor of Radiodiagnostic Oncology at the Medical Faculty of the University of Heidelberg, Germany
  • Annemiek Snoeckx, Associate Professor at the University of Antwerp, Belgium; Chair of the Radiology Department at the Antwerp University Hospital, Belgium

Project funding

This report was initiated by AstraZeneca and funded by AstraZeneca, GE HealthCare, Ibex Medical Analytics, Sophia Genetics and Thermo Fisher Scientific.