The European Commission has presented its new SAMITA Action Plan which aims to ensure that radiological and nuclear technologies continue to benefit the health of EU citizens and contribute to the fight against cancer and other diseases.
The SAMIRA Action Plan – the Strategic Agenda for Medical Ionising Radiation Applications – will improve EU co-ordination and is the first follow-up to Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan. It will ensure that EU citizens have access to high-quality radiological and nuclear technologies in medicine with the highest safety standards.
Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, said: “The current pandemic has reminded us all of the importance of health and the need to do everything we can to increase the wellbeing of our citizens. Safe medical use of radiological and nuclear technology is a highly useful tool in our arsenal and is already benefitting hundreds of millions of patients across Europe.
“This action plan will ensure that the EU continues to be the global leader in supplying medical radioisotopes and developing radiological diagnostics and treatments, while applying the highest quality and safety standards.”
Nuclear and radiation technologies
Several nuclear and radiation technologies are vital for dealing with cancer management, such as mammography, computed tomography, and other forms of radiological imaging, and radiotherapy is among the most effective and widely used cancer treatments. Nuclear medicine is also routinely used for cancer diagnosis and follow-up.
The plan will focus on three key areas including: securing the supply of medical radioisotopes; improving radiation quality and safety in medicine; and facilitating innovation and the technological development of medical ionising radiation applications.
Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, said: “With Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, we will take action to ensure that we screen more, and that we screen better. And to do so, we need to have radiation technology that is safe and of high quality. Radiological imaging is indispensable for early cancer detection and diagnosis, and more than half of cancer patients will undergo radiotherapy.
“It is an ever-present element in the life of a cancer patient. The SAMIRA Action Plan is our first deliverable under Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, and it is an excellent example of collaboration between the energy, health and research communities.”
A European Radioisotope Valley Initiative (ERVI) will be established by the Commission to maintain Europe’s global leadership in the supply of medical radioisotopes and help accelerate the development and introduction of new radioisotopes and production methods.
It will also launch a European Initiative on Quality and Safety of medical applications of ionising radiation and will create synergies between the Euratom Research and Training Programme and the ‘Health’ cluster of the EU research programme Horizon Europe through the development and implementation of a Research Roadmap for medical applications of nuclear and radiation technology.