The mission of SIOPE is to ensure a brighter future for European children and adolescents with cancer. This is why, in order to help parents find the best treatment centre for their child, we strive to ensure that high-level research and the best standards of care in paediatric oncology are evenly applied all over the continent.
Clinical research is not a luxury: all innovative drugs and treatments developed in paediatric oncology are brought forward by investigator-driven clinical trials groups, which are necessary to combat the burden of cancer. It is only thanks to clinical trials if the cure-rate and the quality-of-cure of children with cancer improved over the past 40 years, and mortality dramatically decreased in Europe. Our Society supports researchers in dealing with the regulatory aspects of clinical trials’ initiation and acts as a point of reference to facilitate partnerships and information exchange among disease-specific clinical trial groups, in particular through the ECRC.
Healthcare inequalities are often striking in Europe, with some countries’ high level of excellence contrasting with the desperate situation of other less wealthy nations, where hospitals encounter visible problems in delivering care to patients with such a rare disease. As a result, some families have better chances than others to see their child cured, and this just depends on the country they happen to live in: this situation can no longer be accepted. Together with other important partners such as the Polish Health Ministry, SIOPE has developed a reference document, the ‘European Standards of care for Children with Cancer’, to set the standards requirements for all paediatric oncology treatment centres, and recently joined other partners in the new EU-funded project EXPO-r-NeT, to achieve a high-quality and accessible healthcare for childhood cancer in Europe.