Sarcoidosis Europe

European Association of Patients Organizations of Sarcoidosis and other Granulomatous Disorders (EPOS)  

Sarcoidosis Reference Network Sarcoidosis patient treatment priorities - survey results Sarcoidosis Patient Compass Research surveys: Your experience with COVID-19? Research: Big Sarcoidosis Survey Who we are
Sarcoidosis Expert Advice Sarcoidosis study: What core outcomes are important to you? Sarcoidosis Patient Journey Recommendations: How to protect people living with a rare disease in the COVID-19 pandemic Sarcoidosis Factsheet Call of the rare disease community for more ambitious EU health programme

Sarcoidosis Reference Network

in the European Reference Networks for Rare Diseases (ERN)

If you are looking for sarcoidosis experts or second opinion in critical case, please read!

In this great European initiative for rare diseases Sarcoidosis was associated due to itís largest organ involvement of the lung with the European Reference Network for rare lung diseases (ERN-LUNG) and especially to the core network of interstitial lung diseases (ILD) due to the medical systematic.

More over in this European Network approach the interdisciplinary cooperation within each ERN and with the other ERNís is in the central scope of this initiative. This is of course in accordance of the general character of the Sarcoidosis disease which can affect nearly all organs and therefore reflects the needs of Sarcoidosis patients.

The vision and key objectives of this initiative is to improve the care and treatment of people living with a rare disease in Europe, to build a network of experts to collect and enhance medical knowledge and to increase research.

The 'Sarcoidosis Europe' with national sarcoidosis patients' associations and along with many ambrella organisations on other rare disorders in Europe is engaged for several years now to foster a network of expert centers in Europe collaborating for the benefit for Sarcoidosis patients, especially severely affected patients. This is a model for interdisciplinary and cross-border collaboration in health care. So we are very happy, that the start with lotís of small and large steps was done successfully. Since the beginning of this initiative we are supporting it as member of the European Patient Advisory Group (EPAG) of ERN-LUNG.

Thus the European Reference Centers for ILD are available with their expertise especially for severely affected Sarcoidosis patients and their local doctors when looking for special advise concerning diagnostic, treatment and follow-up.

In Europe these are currently 28 university and special hospitals in several European countries. The medical ERN members have access to a special European case conference software with up to date patient data security and data protection (Clinical Patient Management System CPMS) allowing also cross-border expert advise.

A lot of the European Sarcoidosis experts are well known to several of the national Sarcoidosis patientsí associations or are even member of their medical advisory boards.

We therefore are very thankful to the experts in Europe making available their expertise to the patients and their local doctors to bring together experience in this rare disease and connecting to actual Sarcoidosis research for the severely affected Sarcoidosis patients.

Position the mouse on the European map on the country of interest and click left to see the ILD reference centers with the links to their information websites and contact details in this country if any.

Credits: Many thanks to Phil Archer for sharing this very instructive svg example.

The following links show also the ILD centers (actually 27) in ERN-LUNG in alphabetical order by country and city name here.

Belgium This link opens in new window France This link opens in new window Italy This link opens in new window
Czech This link opens in new window Germany This link opens in new window Netherlands This link opens in new window
Denmark This link opens in new window Great Britain This link opens in new window Spain This link opens in new window

ERN-LUNG is a non-profit, international, professional, patient-centric and scientific network and it is committed Europe-wide and globally to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of rare respiratory diseases through patient care and advocacy, education and research. In keeping with these goals, ERN-LUNG will interact with both national and international organisations which have similar goals.

ERN-LUNGís vision is to be a European knowledge hub for rare respiratory diseases and to decrease morbidity and mortality from them in people of all ages.

Please read more about the European reference networks and watch the Video on the website of the European Commission (EC).

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Sarcoidosis Expert Advice

The European Reference Network for Rare Lung Diseaes (ERN-LUNG) is the only one uptodate to provide this general expert service to patients and their care given doctors. Please ask your question to the ERN-LUNG Expert Advice Knowledgebase. This service is available in English and German right now. Please use.

It is important to know, that we will not be able to make a personal diagnosis or give you a personal treatment recommendation online. For such please refer to the ERN-Lung reference centers to achieve personal diagnotics and treatment as well as to recieve bross-border referal to experts for your local health care provider/doctors.

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Sarcoidosis patient treatment priorities - survey results

As a joint action with Sarcoidosis researchers from US and Europe and support of the European Lung Foundation (ELF) the sarcoidosis patient organisations in Europe collaborated and promoted this first survey on treatment priorities of sarcoidosis patients. The response to this questionaire within 1,5 month being online was really large: 1.842 participated. Thanks very much to all of those. The detailed results are just officially published in the European Respiratory Journal Open Research in the linked article 'Sarcoidosis: patient treatment priorities' (ERJ Open Research 2018 4: 00141-2018; DOI: 10.1183/23120541.00141-2018).

The ranking found in this survey shows: Quality of Life, functionality, survival, imaging for diagnostics and follow-up, adverse events of medical treatment, blood tests, pulmonary function tests. Please note some of the key messages below:

"Scans, tests and examinations are of course crucial in the treatment, but the well-being and the quality of life determine how much I suffer from sarcoidosis. And that is the most important thing."

"Our survey also highlighted that assessing ability to work and provision of supportive measures in this area were additional important factors for consideration. The survey results reinforce the view that clinical indicators should not be the only target of treatment and that sarcoidosis clinicians should be encouraged to assess patient-reported aspects so that they can be incorporated into care."

"Clinicians should work in a multidisciplinary way. This is particularly important for multisystem diseases to ensure that specialists can contribute their expertise at the same time to enable quicker, accurate and comprehensive diagnosis, treatment and follow-up."

"Access to a range of services, such as pain management and psychological support, is important to achieve."

"Sarcoidosis specialists and specialist centres are needed in every country."

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Sarcoidosis study: What core outcomes are important to you?

Help us find out what outcomes are so important that they should always be measured in research for pulmonary sarcoidosis. The study is done by the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research (FSR) and the University of Liverpool.
Please register and help with your experience as a lung sarcoidosis patient.

Thank you very much for your contribution!

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Sarcoidosis Patient Compass

This is a new service of European patients' associations for all Sarcoidosis patients!

This is an interactive tool to help guide you through your sarcoidosis journey. It will help you understand which questions to ask your doctor. The importance of each point will be determined by the type of your sarcoidosis, and your understanding of your condition. Read and be aware of all the points but consider carefully only those points which are important for you at this current time. You are encouraged to use the tick boxes and to refer back to the compass over time.

Please follow this link to the Sarcoidosis Compass in 6 languages.

Please feedback your user experience to help us improve this tool. Thank's!

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Sarcoidosis Patient Journey

The way to the right diagnosis is not always straight and easy. Like in many rare diseases the differential diagnosis is a complicated journey for patients and their doctors with pitfalls of possible misdiagnosis or even mistreatment as the picture below illustrates. With our European ambrella organisation for rare disorders EURORDIS we supported the underlying study.

Please find here the Sarcoidosis Patient Journey* which was developed by European Sarcoidosis PatientsĎ Organisations and patient advocates within the framework of the Sarcoidosis Patient Priorities Project of the European Lung Foundation (ELF) based on an template of EURORDIS for the European Reference Networks for Rare Diseases (ERN). It represents the views of the patient community while the 6 European patient associations incorporated representing over 7,000 Sarcoidosis patients in Europe. It outlines not ony the clinical presentation and patient needs at each of the stages of the patient journey, but reflects also recommendations of what 'good care' and support would look like in the view of the patient community.

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Research surveys: What is your experience with Sarcoidosis and COVID-19?

Please support these surveys on the effect of COVID-19 pandemic - both on specific effect on Sarcoidosis patients - as well as on more general aspects of rare disease patients and those with a chronic condition - all of them Sarcoidosis patients may have to face also!

Interaction of Sarcoidosis and Covid-19 virus
Sarcoidosis researchers need your help. We are trying to determine:
- How frequently sarcoidosis patients are infected with COVID-19 (corona virus).
- If a sarcoidosis patient is infected with COVID-19, what happens to them.
- Does having sarcoidosis or being on treatment make one more likely to have problems with COVID-19?
If you are interested in helping us learn the answer to this question, we ask you to complete the questionaire in English found at COVID-19 survey in sarcoidosis patients. Please find here preliminary results of the first 1,600 responders as well as an interview with the principal investigator Prof. Dr. Baughman, MD. The survey is ongoing. Please help and take your active part in this sarcoidosis survey.

Effect of the Covid-19 pandemy on rare diesease patients
The next survey with our European ambrella organisation EURORDIS is essential for the rare disease community including us as Sarcoidosis patients. It will enable us to measure how the virus is affecting rare disease patientsí lives and give us the possibility to communicate facts and figures to decision-makers, so that people living with a rare disease are not left behind when handling the crisis.

The survey should take no more than 15 minutes to complete. All responses are anonymous and will be kept in secure storage only accessible to the Rare Barometer research team.

Through asking questions such as how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting patientsí care, social care, employment situation, and mental-health, we will be able to better understand this unprecedented situation. This survey is open to people living with a rare disease and their family members from any country in the world. It is translated in 23 languages. The more people will take the survey, the stronger our voice will be!

Please follow this link to the EURORDIS survey in 23 languages.

Actually over 7,000 persons participated. Have a look at the preliminary results* of the first 5,000 responders.

This survey runs only for a few days left. Please take your chance immediately.

If you like, have a quick look at the results of a former survey* showing the serious impact on everyday life of rare disease patients, their families and carers.

Effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on chronic condition health care
We support an international initiative of our international ambrella organisations for chronically ill people to gather information on the experiences of persons with disabilitiesin the current pandemic and on how the health care systems are responding to Covid-19 and related emergency situations in relation to this specific population. As you are uniquely placed to provide insights into the situation in your country, this monitoring cannot be done without you! The survey is anonymously and available in 22 languages, will take about 15 minutes and shows transparent online results. Please support this global attempt responding to our survey by your spending time.

Examine the difference in experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic between people with and without disabilities
You will be asked about the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on aspects of your daily life and employment status and stress and well-being. If you are interested in helping out, please take 15-20 minutes to complete the survey of the Michigan State University available in 10 languages.

Thank you very much in advance for your participation in all of these most actual research projects!

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Recommendations: How to protect people living with a rare disease in the COVID-19 pandemic as confinement measures are being lifted

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on people and health systems. EURORDIS-Rare Diseases Europe already brought to urgent attention the needs of the 30 million people living with a rare disease in Europe as one of the most vulnerable populations during the crisis. The recent EURORDIS COVID-19 survey shows that the pandemic heavily impacted the rare disease population. More than two months later, confinement measures are slowly being lifted in many countries. As the virus still circulates and as measures are constantly changing, it is crucial that COVID-19 post-confinement responses and policies in every country, region or locality prioritise the specific needs of vulnerable populations, including people living with a rare disease. The risk for an exacerbation of pre-existing inequalities is very real and will translate into worse health outcomes for all, not just the most vulnerable. It is crucial to act now to limit collateral damage.

Please read the common position paper* on how to protect people living with a rare disease in the COVID-19 pandemic as confinement measures are being lifted.

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Research: Big Sarcoidosis Survey

We want a better understanding of who is affected by sarcoidosis, how they are affected, the possible causes and how they are being treated by healthcare professionals in order to identify the issues for future research from the patients' perspective. Please contribute to the Big Sarcoidosis Survey of our member association SarcoidosisUK. Thank's a lot for support of future research priorities.

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Sarcoidosis Factsheet

The European Lung Foundation (ELF) with the Sarcoidosis Patients' Priorities Project has created a new sarcoidosis fact sheet on symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and support. Please follow this link to the Sarcoidosis Factsheet.

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European rare disease community calls for more ambitious health programme in the face of budget cuts

Have we already forgotten the lessons learnt from COVID-19? With our European ambrella organisation for rare diseases EURORDIS we support the following statement calling on the European Commission, the negotiators of the European Parliament, and the German Presidency of the European Council to take action to reverse the European Councilís drastic reduction of funding to the EU4Health programme.

We strongly supported the European Commissionís proposal for the ambitious EUR 9.4 billion standalone EU4Health Programme, which aligns with the want of 70 % of European citizens to see more health-related actions at the European level.

In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, it also showed a willingness to learn from the mistakes of the past and was a great step towards avoiding replicating them in the future. EURORDIS and EPOS finds the European Councilís recent decision to reduce the budget to EUR 1.7 billion coming from the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) regrettable. It has a decisive impact on what can be achieved within this new framework. Please follow this link to the press release*.

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Who we are

EPOS was founded as the european umbrella under which the national patients' organizations will be represented. Founded on October 23th, 2000 by (Netherlands) formerly SBN, DSV (Germany), SarcoidosisUK (United Kingdom) formerly SILA, and SSARV (Switzerland). EPOS was joind by BBS (Belgium) in autumn 2006 and by ISARC (Ireland) in spring 2008.

EPOS has clearly marked targets and ideals. These include active participation in the foundation of (new) national organizations and also to stimulate international research and provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, experiences and expertise. The priority remains the provision of adequate information for patients and all others involved, in the broadest sense.

The suffering of the long-term sarcoid patient must be recognized as an unsatisfactory situation. Not only is the cause unknown but a medical cure remains undiscovered. In order to help these patients and those who aim to help them, the European Association of Patients Organizations and other Granulomatous Disorders (EPOS) was brought into being.

On the next pages, the members will present the general thoughts and issues in greater detail and, more importantly, in their languages.

For questions and/or suggestions EPOS can be reached by mail:



P.O. Box 30 43

D - 40650 Meerbusch


Phone: +49 (0) 21 59 - 815 30 - 25

Fax: +49 (0) 21 59 - 815 30 - 26



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