The Plan was first elaborated within the ENCCA network of excellence (European Network for Cancer research in Children and Adolescents, FP7 2011-2015), and enriched through the contributions of SIOPE members and partners, as well as parents, patients, and survivors’ advocates.At the conference ‘Joining efforts for a brighter future for children and adolescents with cancer – The European roadmap to Horizon 2020’ (18-19 September 2014, Brussels) approximately 160 participants from 31 countries publicly endorsed the proposal and called for a European Cancer Plan for Children and Adolescents that would address both clinical care and research.
The ultimate goal of the SIOPE Strategic Plan is to increase the survival that is free from disease and late effects- after ten years from the disease (and beyond) by achieving seven key objectives.
Cross-tumour platforms and projects are being set up to facilitate the Plan’s implementation spanning the critical variables influencing success, such as outcomes research to monitor progress made, a platform to provide radiotherapy quality assurance, a multi-stakeholder platform with academia, industry, regulators and parents to improve paediatric development of new oncology drugs, as well as a research program to address ethics and psycho-social aspects of childhood cancer. A European Reference Network will be created to facilitate cross-border healthcare and access to expertise for paediatric cancer patients across Europe no matter where they live. An efficient e-Health infrastructure is set to support such system building on the ExPO-r-Net project. The ‘Oncopolicy’ programme will advocate better EU policies to address the needs of young people with cancer. Indeed, SIOPE will help the implementation of cross border clinical trials within the new Clinical trial regulation and advocate for a Data Protection regulation that will not jeopardize research efforts for children and adolescents while assuring privacy to all citizens. The implementation of the EU paediatric medicine regulation must urgently be improved in order to adequately address the needs of children with cancer. Specific new incentives might be required.
SIOPE will steer and coordinate the effective implementation of this Plan, together with all stakeholders; existing partnerships will be strengthened with adult oncologists as well as professionals from other continents, while public-private partnerships – recognising the specificities of paediatric haematology-oncology – will be established with industry. SIOPE established a partnership with Childhood Cancer International, the federation of parents, patients and survivors organizations to implement the Plan.
The SIOPE Strategic Plan has been officially presented during the European Cancer Congress (25-29 September 2015, Vienna, Austria), and will be also further discussed at the EU-policy level during an event which will take place on 18th November 2015 at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium (more information: www.siope.eu/?p=3428). We trust that this Plan will inspire many future initiatives in the field. It has to date already achieved an important milestone of broad multi-stakeholder consensus and we look forward to working with all relevant stakeholders to make it a success, preparing a brighter future for children and adolescents with cancer in our region.