Centre for Cancer Biomarkers CCBIO

Lars Akslen at "Filosofisk Poliklinikk"

Filosofisk Poliklinikk - "The Philosophical Polyclinic" - a Norwegian think-tank for medical philosophy - featured CCBIO Director Lars Akslen in their public meeting in Bergen on the 4th February. The meeting was one of a series of four on challenges of health prioritization.


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Prioritization dilemmas

In his public lecture called "Biomarkers and modern cancer treatment", Akslen gave an introduction to cancer biology and the principles of cancer treatment as well as the role of and need for biomarkers. He introduced the dilemmas emerging from the increasing costs of cancer treatments, as well as the role of pharmaceutical industry in this increase. He also explained how the discovery of new biomarkers in some cases may pave the way out of current prioritization dilemmas.

Public discussion

The lecture was followed by a public discussion. Several issues were raised and discussed, including the critical topics of excessive diagnostics and/or excessive treatment; the value of screening programmes; transparency, or the lack thereof, in public health decisions on cancer drugs; etc. The discussion also contained an interesting exchange of perspectives on how to communicate e.g. a benign cancer diagnosis, revealing differences in perspective between pathologists and general practitioners on how to speak of and understand the meaning of "cancer".

These topics all fall within the intellectual scope of CCBIO and are addressed by the ELSA research integrated into the centre.