Every year, at the European Cancer Summit, the European Cancer Organisation brings together leading oncology experts, experienced patient advocates, key opinion leaders, policy makers and politicians to discuss key issues in reducing the burden of cancer, saving, and improving the lives of patients and the public.
This year’s European Cancer Summit was on 16-17 November and focused on delivery and collaboration, including through our ten Focused Topic Networks.
We planned this year’s Summit as a hybrid event with the majority of speakers and delegates getting a chance to meet face-to-face in Brussels and others able to join virtually, bringing together the European cancer community including our Member Societies and Patient Advocacy groups.
The European Cancer Summit is a key event in the cancer policy calendar. Our goal is to showcase the multi-stakeholder, collaborative efforts being made, to ensure tangible results. We believe this exchange will help to improve outcomes for cancer patients and raise awareness of the many significant challenges of cancer.
See who joined us "on stage" here.
The European Cancer Summit 2022 Programme co-chairs Ajay Aggarwal and Gilliosa Spurrier-Bernard guided the development of an impactful programme with leading speakers.
Watch all session recordings on the European Cancer Organisation's event area here. These are now available to delegates at the Summit and the public.
With the support of visit.brussels and the Brussels-Capital Region
Andreas Charalambous, European Cancer Organisation's President, Ajay Aggarwal and Gilly Spurrier-Bernard, European Cancer Summit 2022 Co-Chairs opened this year's European Cancer Summit together.
This has been a year of turning plans into action. Notable amongst these is the publication of the first iteration of a new EU Cancer Inequalities Registry, and the start of several Beating Cancer Plan initiatives, including: an EU Network of Comprehensive Cancer Centres; a European-wide campaign against HPV cancers; and an inter-speciality cancer training programme.
This opening session officially launched the landmark report ‘European Groundshot—addressing Europe’s cancer research challenges: a Lancet Oncology Commission’. Its 12 evidence-based recommendations provide a roadmap to achieving a 70% survival rate, on average, for all cancer patients in Europe by 2035.
The European Cancer Organisation also shared a new tool developed by its Inequalities Network, the European Cancer Pulse. It provides an extensive complement to the EU Cancer Inequalities Registry and highlights a range of additional cancer inequalities across the continent.
With Inequalities Network Co-Chairs Nicolò Matteo Luca Battisti and Sarah Collen, including speakers:
The centrepiece of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan was the promise to fund a ‘Better Life for Cancer Patients Initiative’. It includes: a Cancer Survivor Smart-Card (SmartCARE project); a European Cancer Patient Digital Centre; and official EU studies on the return-to-work needs of cancer survivors and the forms of discrimination they may encounter, including from financial services providers. The Survivorship and Quality of Life session took stock of the latest developments.
With Survivorship and Quality of Life Network Co-Chairs Csaba Dégi and Nevenka Krčevski Škvarč, including speakers:
Across Europe, with an EU level cancer plan now complementing an array of national cancer plans, and a noteworthy focus on achieving an EU Network of Comprehensive Cancer Centres, how can we gain a fuller picture of the interventions and investments that yield the strongest improvements in outcomes? To such questions directors of pioneer cancer centres across Europe have been providing significant focus. The session provided an opportunity for sharing of experience and perspective. This included exchanges with patient advocates and the healthcare industry for their insights on fit-for-purpose outcome measurement in oncology.
With Quality Cancer Care Network Co-Chairs Simon Oberst and Fedro Peccatori, including speakers:
For this Networking Lunch, we encouraged you to meet your colleagues from around the world and take stock of the sessions up until this point. Delegates also got a chance to view the posters of the 17 selected abstracts which were displayed on the walls in the lunch area.
Effective and equitable cancer care does not only concern the provision of advanced medications and machinery. It requires teams of trained professionals who bring multidisciplinary and multi-professional care to life. This is where INTERACT-EUROPE comes into play, our recently awarded 18-month EU4Health project. Together, we aim to set the standard for inter-specialty cancer training in Europe.
During this session, we looked at the level to which current EU policy is supporting the growth and development of oncology professions. We also explored new technological advances and ways to bolster the resilience of the oncology workforce, especially considering the experiences of Covid-19.
|With Workforce Network Co-Chairs Mirjam Crul and Beate Rau, including speakers:|
Inspired by the heroism of patient organisations and healthcare professionals in Ukraine, the session of the ECO-ASCO Special Network: Impact of the War in Ukraine on Cancer called upon the views of leading actors in Europe’s response to the healthcare and cancer care needs of the War. Valeriy Zub MP, Anna Uzlova, the CEO of a pre-eminent Ukrainian cancer patient organisation, and Roman Shyyan, a cancer surgeon joining live from Lviv, related day-to-day experiences and outlined ways in which the European and international cancer community can go further in restoring services and addressing the twin battles that Ukrainian cancer patients must now endure: that of their cancer, and that of the war.
With Special Network Co-Chairs Andreas Charalambous, President, and Eric Winer, American Society of Clinical Oncology's President, including speakers:
Fewer issues are closer to the heart of every citizen than the health and wellbeing of themselves and those they love. The EU’s ambitious agenda on cancer has a clear and real prospect of changing and improving lives by helping to reduce cancer incidence, speeding early detection of cancer, enhancing treatment and outcomes, upscaling European cancer research, and embedding new foundational approaches to cancer survivorship and follow-up care. Implementation of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan and the EU Research Mission on Cancer are advancing at pace. The annual European Cancer Summit serves as a time and a place for the European cancer community to convene together and share views on the progress made so far, bring attention to any roadblocks in delivery, and cast eyes to the next Missions, Plans and Actions to come.
With Andreas Charalambous, President, and Gilly Spurrier-Bernard, European Cancer Summit 2022 Co-Chair, including speakers:
All Summit attendees were warmly invited to join our speaker faculty and leaders of Europe's oncology professional societies, cancer patient organisations and other stakeholder associations for a drinks reception, kindly supported by visit.brussels, and further conversation upon the day's key themes such as cancer inequalities, survivorship and quality of life, outcome measurement, workforce training needs, Ukraine's cancer care needs, and the achievements of EU cancer policy to date.
This has been a landmark year for Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, especially in early detection and its screening pillar. In March, the European Commission issued its latest scientific advice: a long-overdue update on EU recommendations to Member States on cancer screening. Notably, scientific advisors included new advice on lung, prostate and gastric cancer screening, alongside the already existing advice to countries on breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening.
This summit session heard from those most closely involved in the advisory process. They discussed the implementation journey ahead for the new recommendations, and how early detection needs can be met through coordinated policy interventions beyond screening.
Also check out our Open Letter on Screening to EU and National Level Decision-Makers.
With Prevention, Early Detection and Screening Network Co-Chairs Isabel Teresa Rubio and Jan van Meerbeeck, including speakers:
It is reasonable to consider the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic to be behind us, without diminishing vigilance for the winter ahead. Following the evidence, recommendations and political will generated by the Covid-19 and Cancer Time to Act campaign, what is the present status of the build back and what are the pressing priorities for action? Guided by information from the Time To Act Data Navigator, the session heard from leading patients, healthcare professionals, politicians and industry speakers working at the front end of cancer service response and build back following the challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic. The session also described latest recommendations from the cancer community to Governments and the EU on cancer service recovery and re-building, via an update to the Covid-19 and Cancer Network’s 7 point plan.
With Special Network on the Impact of Covid-19 on Cancer Co-Chairs Mirjam Crul and Mark Lawler, including speakers:
As a future-focused event, the European Cancer Summit took time to harness views and aspirations in cancer policy from emerging leader figures under the age of 45. From political, international, industrial, practice and other perspectives, the degree to which present trends and cancer policy emphasis are meeting the hopes of younger advocates will be examined.
And the best authors of chosen abstracts, all listed below, presented during this session.
With Andreas Charalambous, President, and Ajay Aggarwal, Summit Co-Chair, including speakers and abstract authors:
After the above session dedicated to the future of cancer professionals, delegates were invited to personally meet the authors of the 17 selected abstracts and learn more about their work, ambitions and next steps.
The health system and treatment optimisation agenda, as promoted in consensus resolution and declarations of previous European Cancer Summits, continues to make elements of progress under the present EU political cycle. However, could more be reasonably expected beyond the immediate political horizon? This session of the European Cancer Summit facilitated exchange and the sharing of achievable policy ambition to bring about sought after reorientation of health systems and research approaches in cancer.
With Health Systems and Treatment Optimisation Network Co-Chairs Denis Lacombe and Yolande Lievens, including speakers:
Now is the time for decisive action on HPV. The PROTECT-EUROPE project, funded by the EC and led by ECO with some 33 partners from 16 countries, will contribute to an increase in vaccine confidence among parents, carers and young people. It will increase vaccine uptake in all genders in line with the commitment in Europe's Beating Cancer Plan. PROTECT-EUROPE launches in January 2023.
WHO Europe's new Roadmap to accelerate the elimination of cervical cancer across the region aims to increase HPV vaccination rates (although primarily in girls), improve screening programmes (using HPV DNA testing and self-sampling), and improve access to treatment and care. The Roadmap provides the basis for further actions to tackle all the cancers caused by HPV.
Single-dose HPV vaccination, this year recommended by the WHO globally and already approved for the UK, should make it easier and cheaper for vaccine programmes to switch to gender-neutral.
Taking advantage of these developments, ECO's 'Action Now on HPV' project will support advocacy work in countries which are falling behind in HPV cancer elimination. Pilots will start in Romania and Bulgaria and, in 2023, a total of up to 10 countries will be engaged.
With HPV Action Network Co-Chairs Daniel Kelly and Rui Medeiros, including speakers:
Sibilia Quilici, Executive Director, Vaccines Europe
The LGBTQI+ Workstream of the Inequalities Network had an informal first meeting with Nicolò Battisti (Co-Chair of the Inequalities Network) and Cianán Russell, (Senior Policy Officer, ILGA Europe). We thank all delegates who joined!
As set out in the ECO consensus paper, No Stopping Us Now!, the benefits of digital technology for improving cancer care are clear. Yet frustration persists with a perception of slower than hoped for progress in major areas such as international oncology data collaboration, and sufficient preparation of health systems, including oncology professionals, for larger scale adoption and uptake in areas such as Artificial Intelligence. This session took perspectives from national ministries, international oncology leaders and EU decision-makers about the current state of the art and the realities of digital change management in the oncology, with reference to present political priorities such as the establishment of a European Health Data Space.
With Digital Health Network Network Co-Chairs Carlo Catalano and Wim Oyen, including speakers:
After two full days of sessions exploring how Europe can move further forward faster in making cancer care more effective and equitable, the final session of the European Cancer Summit gave emphasis to the next steps in bringing ideas to reality and converting words into action.
Importantly, to increase the political traction and connection between national and EU based cancer initiative, and heighten impetus on combatting cancer inequality, the European Cancer Organisation launched a new network for political cooperation: National and European Parliamentarians for Cancer Action.
Legislators from national capitals as well as Brussels exchanged together on their key takeaways from the Summit and outlined areas for priority cooperation and attention in the year to come.
With Andreas Charalambous, President, Ajay Aggarwal, Gilly Spurrier-Bernard, our European Cancer Summit 2022 Co-Chairs , as well as leading cancer policy makers, MEPs and MPs from across Europe:
At the conclusion of the European Cancer Summit 2022, we invited all participants to join a networking reception to celebrate the launch of the National and European Parliamentarians for Cancer Action group and European Cancer Pulse, alongside sharing views, ideas and responses to the questions and challenges raised by the Summit sessions. We joined forces for the policy actions to be taken in the year ahead!