Inter-Specialty Cancer Training across Europe: The Beating Cancer Plan’s New Workforce Project is Off and Running   

27 June 2022

Leaders from all spheres of European cancer care – including surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists, oncology nurses, educators and more – have come together in Brussels today to launch INTERACT-EUROPE, an ambitious EU project to promote inter-specialty cancer training. 

As part of Europe’s new Beating Cancer Plan, a consortium of more than 30 professional organisations and cancer centres from 17 countries are creating a pioneering curriculum for inter-professional learning and development across borders. The goal is for members of different oncology professions and nationalities to improve their skills together through joint training programmes. In doing so, it will enhance common understanding of oncology best practices, and help reduce inequalities in cancer care in Europe. INTERACT-EUROPE (also known as Innovative collaboration for Inter-specialty cancer training across Europe), is a project led by the European Cancer Organisation and co-funded by the EU4Health programme. The project’s kick off meeting takes place today and tomorrow in Brussels.

Commenting on today’s INTERACT-EUROPE launch, ECO President, Andreas Charalambous, said:  

“INTERACT-EUROPE champions a challenging area in cancer care: inter-specialty training. As cancer care gets ever more complex, it can only work at its best when the many involved disciplines work closely. Inter-speciality cancer training addresses this need by fostering stronger understanding between professions.

INTERACT-EUROPE is a chance for the European cancer community to put into action the kind of principles we would always wish to see in evidence in EU projects: patient-centricity; inclusiveness; and an unrelenting attention to ensuring implementation promotes inequality reduction. So, we have patient representatives embedded in our governance, a wide consortium with multiple public consultation opportunity, and the use of automatic translation technology to open the programme to wide participation across Europe. 

The European Cancer Summit this year will be setting out recommendations on delivering effective and equitable cancer care together. I believe INTERACT-EUROPE can be a pathfinder in this respect.”

Tomislav Sokol, a Member of the European Parliament from Croatia and a strong proponent of INTERACT-EUROPE, added:  

“It has been a great pleasure working with the European Cancer Organisation and its member societies to help launch their work in developing the EU’s inter-specialty cancer training programme. I applaud the determination of the INTERACT-EUROPE leaders to ensure the project is highly accessible to healthcare professionals no matter which country they are living in. It is vital that Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan addresses inequalities in cancer care across Europe. For this reason, I am also pleased to be working with the European Cancer Organisation to create a new intra-parliamentary network, linking politicians in national capitals with those of us in Brussels. We all have a role to play in making Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan a change-maker. I am determined to work with everyone with that shared interest to make it so.”