A truly successful launch of the first edition of the SIOP Europe Annual Meeting – an innovative setting for Paediatric Oncology and Haematology (from 20 to 24 May 2019 in Prague, Czech Republic).
This first SIOP Europe Annual Meeting surpassed expectations in terms of attendance with over 1400 participants from 65 countries. The ten countries with the most delegates were Czech Republic, France, Italy, Japan, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, UK and USA. The wide-ranging participants include scientists, clinicians, researchers, young experts, parents, patients, survivors, policymakers and healthcare professionals with diverse interests and expertise to promote the best possible care and outcomes for all children and adolescents with cancer in Europe.
Hosted by the European Society for Paediatric Oncology (SIOP Europe), in partnership with CCI Europe, this Annual Meeting brings together the diverse stakeholders who are invested in tackling key issues with the aim of increasing the cure rate for cancers affecting children and adolescents and improving the quality of life for survivors. SIOP Europe is very pleased that CCI Europe integrated their 10th CCI Europe Conference within the SIOP Europe Annual Meeting, thus ensuring the representation and participation of childhood cancer parents and survivors.
The meeting format is unique: it includes novel session formats, interactive workshops and forums empowering the clinical trials groups to debate and disseminate the outcomes of the high quality clinical and basic research carried out in Europe. An innovative focus is on direct interaction between tumour and clinical trial groups, parent groups, and survivors.
Besides the closed sessions and meetings, the programme includes:
- 22 Working Groups;
- 20 Joint Sessions;
- 11 Plenary Sessions.
The Plenary Sessions on Wednesday 22 May consist of multi-stakeholder discussions on important cross-tumour topics and best practice as well as discussions on how SIOP Europe is delivering on its Strategic Plan for children and young people with cancer; presentations on ERN PaedCan; Joint Action on Rare Cancers (JARC) Essential Medicines; recommendations for the organisation of care in paediatric radiation oncology across Europe; and how SIOP Europe is influencing Oncopolicy.
The Joint Sessions are especially key in enabling direct interactions between tumour and clinical trial groups, parent groups, and survivors.
Professor Pam Kearns (SIOP Europe President) said: “The challenges in Paediatric oncology are as diverse as the children and young people who are diagnosed with cancer. The unique landscape means that multiple stakeholders addressing the entire pathway of patient care have to work together for better outcomes for patients. Such firm and committed partnerships over the last 20 years have enabled us to make progress in paediatric oncology. Working together on cross-discipline collaborations is at the heart of improving outcomes for childhood cancer.”
Moreover, the Annual Meeting unveiled the outcomes of the European survey on the availability and accessibility of essential medicines used in the treatment of paediatric malignancies, a deliverable of the SIOP Europe-led activities in the EU Joint Action on Rare Cancers. The survey collected perceptions and experiences from health professionals and parents in 37 countries across Europe.
Professor Gilles Vassal (SIOP Europe Board Member spearheading Oncopolicy programmes) said: “The survey results are clear: Children and adolescents with cancer in Europe still experience issues of access to medicines that the scientific and clinical community defines as essential. Shortages lead the way as the main cause of non-availability. Of particular concern is that pain control during procedures management is not consistently provided to young patients across Europe. The lack of child-friendly formulations for all oral medicines is another important concern for both parents and health professionals. SIOP Europe will work with all stakeholders to address these issues with critical implications for children’s lives.”
Furthermore, specific working groups were officially presented and launched at this Annual Meeting:
- Young SIOPE;
- SIOP Europe Radiation Oncology Working Group;
- SIOP Europe AYA Committee;
- Host Genome Working Group.
These new formal and specialised groups were created in recognition of the need to support the future of Europe’s healthcare, future paediatric and radiation oncologists.
This exceptional meeting allowed participants to share their knowledge, collaborate on cutting-edge research and debate the outcomes of the high quality clinical and basic research carried out in Europe, as well as facilitate mentoring and training for young doctors and fellows.
To further enable participants to connect in convivial settings, stimulating networking and social events, photo exhibition and a Charity Run took place. All income raised from the Charity Run will be donated to Prague-based foundations (Krtek Foundation and Kapka nadeje) that are helping children with cancer.
SIOP Europe expresses sincere gratitude to the entire community, committees, working groups, partners, sponsors, exhibitors and delegates in making this first Annual Meeting a resounding success.
Join us for the 2nd SIOP Europe Annual Meeting. We look forward to seeing everyone in Valencia, Spain from 4 to 8 May 2020!
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 The joint action “724161/JARC” has received funding from the European Union’s Health Programme (2014-2020). The content of the Deliverable represents the views of the authors only and they are sole responsibility: it cannot be considered to reflect the views of the European Commission and/or the Country, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency or any other body of the European Union. The European Commission and the Agency do not accept any responsibility of the information it contains.