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ESMO Collaborates with EHA to Develop the ESMO-MCBS:H, the First Validated Value Scale for Haematological Malignancies

19 Jun 2023

The introduction of a specially validated version of the ESMO-MCBS (European Society for Medical Oncology-Magnitude of Clinical Benefit Scale) for heamatological malignancies, developed in collaboration with the European Hematology Association (EHA), represents a milestone in the development of value assessment in oncology.

Realising that haematological malignancies – including various types of leukaemia, lymphoma, and myeloma – present unique challenges in their diagnosis and treatment and differ significantly from solid tumours, led to the development of a specific scale. “The ESMO-MCBS:H fills what has been hitherto recognised as a major deficiency as it enables to evaluate the magnitude of clinical benefit of treatments specific for haematological malignancies,” says Dr. Nathan Cherny, Chair of the ESMO-MCBS Working Group and co-author of the paper.

The ESMO-MCBS:H will serve as an invaluable aid for healthcare providers, policymakers, and patient advocacy groups, allowing them to accurately assess the value of and prioritise therapies for patients with blood cancers. For clinicians, ESMO-MCBS:H will aid in their clinical decision-making and in the development of evidence-based practice and guidelines. For trainees, the application of ESMO-MCBS:H can teach a structured approach to evaluating clinical research studies. For decision-makers, reference to the ESMO-MCBS:H will inform the process of distinguishing high-benefit therapies from those with low or marginal clinical benefit for the purposes of resource allocation – essential to the sustainability of healthcare systems.

The ESMO-MCBS has been fundamental in advancing cancer treatment decision-making, and this collaboration with the European Hematology Association further strengthens its impact. “This joint effort represents a significant milestone toward ensuring equal access to effective treatments for blood cancer patients,” emphasised Cherny “This has been a massive project by ESMO and the EHA and it is a great testimony to their shared commitment to promoting best standards in high value cancer care.”

“The completion of this project, which began as a pilot with EHA more than five years ago, fills an important gap in the ESMO-MCBS repertoire,” points out Dr. Barbara Kiesewetter – lead author, ESMO-MCBS Working Group member, haemato-oncologist at the Medical University of Vienna. “The ESMO-MCBS:H is now directly operational and will from now on serve as a complementary partner of the solid tumour version for the evaluation of clinical trials in malignant haematological tumours.”

By improving the evaluation process for treatments in blood cancers, not only will the ESMO-MCBS:H enhance patient outcomes but also contribute to the efficient allocation of healthcare resources. This significant achievement highlights the commitment of ESMO to quality cancer care and underscores the importance of collaboration between healthcare professionals and researchers in contributing to healthcare policymaking, and in shaping the future of public health.

The paper “ESMO-Magnitude of Clinical Benefit Scale for Haematological Malignancies (ESMO-MCBS:H) Version 1,0” is now published in Annals of Oncology.

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