The promise of patient support programmes in oncology


Despite significant scientific achievements, cancer remains a tough opponent in the healthcare industry. Traditionally, efforts to combat the disease focused on episodic medical interventions, where ‘successful’ outcomes were determined by assessing the efficacy and safety of a drug or treatment against the standard of care.

While this approach has unlocked a myriad of therapeutic options for patients, a growing body of evidence shows that exogenous factors, such as genomics, behaviour, and social and environmental influences also play a key role in improving the effectiveness of cancer treatments.

Fuelled by technological advancements, patient support programmes (PSPs) – also known as patient assistant programmes – are gaining attention as a potential way to deliver continual care for oncology patients.

In contrast to the episodic approach to treatment, PSPs recognise that, for the millions of patients living with cancer across the UK, their conditions, symptoms, and treatments do not cease between appointments. In fact, there is a wealth of knowledge to be found in the day-to-day experiences of cancer patients. Yet, until relatively recently, capturing and collecting this data was challenging for HCPs and drugmakers.  

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