Monday, September 26, 2011

Merck Serono: New Data Inspire Global Experts to Call for Improved Education, Awareness and Support for Head and Neck Cancer Patients


STOCKHOLM, Sweden & DARMSTADT, Germany - Monday, September 26th 2011 [ME NewsWire]

  • New pan-European survey provides insights into the priorities and unmet needs of head and neck cancer patients
  • The EHNS, supported by Merck Serono, now plans to develop and implement an action plan aimed at improving head and neck cancer education, awareness and support

(BUSINESS WIRE)-- European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress Abstract Number: 8607

Today Merck Serono, a division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt Germany, in partnership with the European Head and Neck Society (EHNS), will convene an expert panel of physicians, who will issue a call-to-action that will focus on providing tailored information, advice and better support networks to head and neck cancer patients.

This call-to-action is driven by the results of ‘About Face 2’, a new survey of European head and neck cancer patients, presented at the European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress 2011. The survey uncovered unmet needs at key junctures of the patient journey from pre-diagnosis, at diagnosis, at treatment and post-treatment. Surveyed head and neck cancer patients identified the following areas of unmet need:1

  • Improved education on head and neck cancer to facilitate earlier diagnosis
  • Easy-to-understand information about the disease and treatment options
  • Help in cultivating a positive attitude to combat the disease
  • Guidance to consider the best available treatment choice for each patient’s situation
  • Improved support and counseling from an extended network of resources to help patients cope with the disease burden

“By taking the learnings from ‘About Face 2’, physicians have an opportunity to identify head and neck cancer patients earlier, as well as ensure that patients have an improved understanding of their disease and treatment,” said Professor Jean-Louis Lefebvre, lead author of the ‘About Face 2’ survey report and President of the EHNS. “We hope our efforts will lead to a reduction in the senseless number of lives being lost to head and neck cancer.”

This expert panel will take place as part of the ‘Senseless’ Satellite Symposium, which includes a unique theatrical performance portraying a head and neck cancer patient’s journey, including communication barriers and emotional aspects of the disease.

“Merck Serono is committed to helping improve the lives of head and neck cancer patients,” said Dr. Wolfgang Wein, Executive Vice President, Oncology, Merck KGaA. “By partnering with the EHNS and leading experts, Merck Serono is taking innovative steps to help ensure that early diagnosis, optimal communication and educational support are integral parts of the standard of care in head and neck cancer.”

The ‘Senseless’ Satellite Symposium will take place at the Stockholmsmässan Congress Center in Hall A3 between 18:30 and 20:00 on September 26, 2011. All delegates registered for the European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress are warmly welcomed to attend.

Notes for Editor

About Face 2’

‘About Face 2’ is a pan-European survey of 104 head and neck cancer patients (majority males aged 50 to 70). The face-to-face interviews took place in six countries – France, Sweden, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Belgium – with questions focused on the patient journey and recall of experiences at pre-diagnosis, diagnosis, treatment and post-treatment. Respondents were asked to consider the impact of the disease (rational vs. emotional) and quality of life. The survey was conducted in accordance with the European Pharmaceutical Market Research Association Code of Conduct. As background, the poster (Abstract #8607) was presented at the European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress on 25 September 2011 at 09:30.

‘Senseless’ Satellite Symposium

The ‘Senseless’ Satellite Symposium consists of a unique theatrical performance followed by an expert-led panel discussion. The panel includes leading experts Professor Jean-Louis Lefebvre, MD, President of the EHNS; Professor Jan B. Vermorken, MD, PhD, Antwerp University Hospital; Professor Jacques Bernier, MD, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Geneva; and Jonathan Lake, MSc, Oncology Psychotherapist.

References

1Lefebvre JL, et al. European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress 2011. Abstract No. 8607

Please visit www.globalcancernews.comfor further news about the ‘Senseless’ Satellite Symposium at the European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress 2011.

To learn more about the call-to-action, please visit the EHNS website www.ehns.org.

About the European Head and Neck Society

The European Head and Neck Society (EHNS) was formally established in 2006 and counts 1500 members today. Its intent is to promote exchange of knowledge in all aspects of Head and Neck neoplastic diseases and to promote the highest standards of research, education and training, disease prevention and patient care. It is a multidisciplinary body bringing together clinicians (e.g., Head and Neck/oral/plastic surgeons, radiation therapists, medical oncologists, imaging specialists, pathologists), other health professionals (e.g., speech therapists, cancer nurses, psychologists, physiotherapists, dieticians, social workers), and basic scientists involved in any aspect of Head and Neck Oncology. Every other year EHNS organizes a European Conference on Head and Neck Oncology (ECHNO).

The EHNS is registered as an international non-profit association under Belgian law. It is composed of individual persons, national and multi-national societies, associated study groups oriented towards Head and Neck oncology research, training and treatment throughout Europe and elsewhere in the world. To find out more about EHNS, please visit: www.ehns.org.

About Merck Serono

Merck Serono is the biopharmaceutical division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a global pharmaceutical and chemical company. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, Merck Serono discovers, develops, manufactures and markets prescription medicines of both chemical and biological origin in specialist indications. In the United States and Canada, EMD Serono operates as a separately incorporated affiliate of Merck Serono.

Merck Serono has leading brands serving patients with cancer (Erbitux®, cetuximab), multiple sclerosis (Rebif®, interferon beta-1a), infertility (Gonal-f®, follitropin alfa), endocrine and metabolic disorders (Saizen® and Serostim®, somatropin), (Kuvan®, sapropterin dihydrochloride), (Egrifta™, tesamorelin), as well as cardiometabolic diseases (Glucophage®, metformin), (Concor®, bisoprolol), (Euthyrox®, levothyroxine). Not all products are available in all markets.

With an annual R&D expenditure of over € 1bn, Merck Serono is committed to growing its business in specialist-focused therapeutic areas including neurodegenerative diseases, oncology, fertility and endocrinology, as well as new areas potentially arising out of research and development in rheumatology.

About Merck

Merck is a global pharmaceutical and chemical company with total revenues of € 9.3 billion in 2010, a history that began in 1668, and a future shaped by more than 40,000 employees in 67 countries. Its success is characterized by innovations from entrepreneurial employees. Merck's operating activities come under the umbrella of Merck KGaA, in which the Merck family holds an approximately 70% interest and shareholders own the remaining approximately 30%. In 1917 the U.S. subsidiary Merck & Co. was expropriated and has been an independent company ever since.

For more information, please visit www.merckserono.comor www.merck.de.


Contacts

Global Business Unit Oncology

Dr. Raphaela Farrenkopf

Phone +49 6151-72 2274

raphaela.farrenkopf@merckgroup.com

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