Quality Cancer Care Network

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Quality Cancer Care is at the heart of the European Cancer Organisation’s guiding mission: “To reduce the burden of cancer, improve outcomes and the quality of care for cancer patients, through multidisciplinarity and multiprofessionalism”.

For this purpose, in 2017 the European Cancer Organisation launched its programme of publications: The Essential Requirements of Quality Cancer Care.

The Essential Requirements of Quality Cancer Care (ERQCC) papers are organisational specifications, not clinical guidelines, and are intended to give oncology teams, patients, policymakers and managers an overview of the elements needed in any healthcare system to provide high-quality care throughout the patient journey. References are made to clinical guidelines and other resources where appropriate, and the focus is on care in Europe.

Written by European experts representing all disciplines involved in cancer care, including our Member Societies, the ERQCC papers provide roadmaps to high-quality multidisciplinary cancer care for a specific tumour type.

The full list of Essential Requirements for Quality Cancer Care published so far is provided below.

Essential Requirements for Quality Cancer Care for Adult Glioma and Ovarian Cancer, are currently in stages of finalisation.

Network Activities in 2021

In 2021, we published, as an open access paper in the prestigious Cancer Treatment Review Journal:

Prof. Francesco Sclafani, Consultant Medical Oncologist at the Institut Jules Bordet – Université Libre de Bruxelles, in Belgium, and Co-Chair of the Essential Requirements for Quality Cancer Care: Pancreatic Cancer, said:

“In the medical world we are all familiar with the benefit and value of clinical guidelines. These are superb tools for practitioners. However, what we often miss is the helicopter view. A vision for the total care and treatment package. That is what our new consensus agreement helps to establish. We set out in detail, ALL the components of care required for patients with pancreatic cancer, as well as the agreed roles of differing professions.”

Prof. Stefano Partelli, Associate Professor at Libera Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele in Italy and Co-Chair of the Essential Requirements for Quality Cancer Care: Pancreatic Cancer, added:

“For a tumour type such as pancreatic cancer, we know there is still so much to be achieved in respect to research and advanced treatment strategies. But we also know we can do so much more with what we know: an integrated multidisciplinary approach is associated with better outcomes. We believe that the Essential Requirements for Quality Cancer Care: Pancreatic Cancer mark an important contribution in that sense.”

Comprehensive Cancer Care Across the EU: Advancing the Vision 

This position paper on the EU propositions for Comprehensive Cancer Infrastructures (EU Network of Comprehensive Cancer Centres) in the EU Cancer Mission and Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan was produced by the European Cancer Organisation’s Quality Cancer Care Network and the Organisation of European Cancer Institutes (OECI). It was compiled via processes of outreach and consultation with the European Cancer Organisation’s Member Societies, Patient Advisory Committee and Community 365, in particular with participants in the Quality Cancer Care Network and in line with the European Cancer Organisation’s policy decision-making process. 

Executive summary: 
  • Ensuring precise objectives are put in place for the EU Network of Comprehensive Cancer Centres, i.e. reducing inequalities of diagnosis, treatment and care, and access to clinical trials, strengthening the quality of translational, clinical and outcomes research,  integrating clinical care and research and evaluating the quality of cancer care throughout 
  • Accompanying implementation of the EU Network of Comprehensive Cancer Centres with clear mapping and needs analysis 
  • Providing early attention to key mechanics of the new Network, including the development of new Comprehensive Cancer Centres in countries where these are not present, and the integration of general hospitals and primary care providers 
  • Urging focus to the scientific mission of the new Network, including the conduct of impactful research at both translational, clinical and outcomes research level 
  • Creating meaningful connection between the Network development and existing quality programmes of care and research, and accreditation for comprehensive cancer centres

You can read the full paper here

Advancing the Vision of Comprehensive Cancer Care in Europe

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Panel disucssion at European Cancer Summit 2021 session "Advancing the Vision of Comprehensive Cancer Care in Europe.

Europe’s Comprehensive Cancer Centres have been well recognised by Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan and the EU Cancer Mission with high-level commitment to the construction of a new EU Network of Comprehensive Cancer Centres, ensuring access of cancer patients across Europe to such care, and encouraging further pan-European research collaboration via the Network. 

The European Cancer Summit 2021 provided an opportunity for speakers and panellists closely involved in the development and implementation of the EU Network Comprehensive Cancer Centres, to reflect further on the new era for cancer treatment, research and care in Europe that such emphasis on comprehensive cancer may bring.  

Hosted by Philip Poortmans, Past Co-Chair of the Quality Cancer Care Network,  and Simon Oberst, Co-Chair of the Quality Cancer Care Network, it was a lively session with contributions from experts around the globe. 

Philip Poortmans, Past Co-Chair of the Quality Cancer Care Network, highlighted that multidisciplinarity is a collaboration between the different disciplines in oncology and that integration of all healthcare providers is very important.  

Tit Albreht, Senior Health Services and Health Systems Researcher at the National Institute of Public Health of Slovenia and Coordinator of the Innovative Partnership for Action Against Cancer (iPAAC), emphasised all that has been achieved through EU Joint Actions in outlining key requirements to advance quality cancer care.

"Here too, it is time to turn Plans into Action!"

Alex Filicevas, President of the All.Can and Member of our Patient Advisory Committee, added that high-quality cancer care is achievable and we need to ensure patient centric evidence-based and multidisciplinary care.  

John Gribben highlights the importance to address the essential requirements for quality cancer care to all malignancies, starting with accurate diagnostic. 

Further recommendations on quality cancer care are provided in the European Cancer Summit 2021 Declaration. Read more here.

  • Find out more on the European Cancer Summit 2021 here.
  • Read the European Cancer Summit 2021 Report here.
  • Watch the session recordings and access valuable resources here.

European Quality Cancer Care Catalogue

Cancer care in Europe is supported by a range of scientific, healthcare professional, patient and institutional organisations and collaborations that provide a range of essential tools for raising standards and outcomes in the delivery of care.

The Quality Cancer Care Network of the European Cancer Organisation is now collating and profiling many excellent examples in a central repository: The Quality Cancer Care Catalogue.

European Code of Cancer Practice

On 23 September 2020, EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides officially launched the European Code of Cancer Practice. Recording from the virtual launch event and video statements can be found here.

The European Code of Cancer Practice is a citizen and patient-centred manifesto of the core requirements for good clinical cancer practice, in order to improve outcomes for all of Europe's cancer patients. It sets out a series of 10 key overarching rights, and in particular signposts what patients should expect from their health system, in order for them to achieve the best possible outcomes.  

It is an empowerment tool to ensure the best available care is delivered for European citizens and patients, translated into many languages.

Many organisations have already endorsed the European Code of Cancer Practice.  

More information about the European Code of Cancer Practice is available here.

The European Code of Cancer Practice is also underpinned by a supporting paper on the Medical Literature and Evidence upon which the recommendations are based.

In June 2021, the article on the European Code of Cancer Practice was published in the Journal of Cancer Policy. You can read the article here.

Other Quality Cancer Care Related Resources

The Community 365 Roundtable Meeting on Lung Cancer, which took place on 7 December 2020, brought together leading policy-makers, politicians, oncology experts, industry partners and advocates to mark the launch of the European Cancer Organisation Essential Requirements for Quality Cancer Care (ERQCC): Lung cancer, published in the journal Lung Cancer and to discuss this important area of cancer care. 

The action report ‘Leave No One Behind - Delivering Innovation in Lung Cancer Care’ was produced as the outcome of the Community 365 Roundtable meeting on Lung Cancer in December 2020, and a basis for advocacy with ERS, ESR, LUCE and others.

 

To find out more about this Network, or support our work, please contact us here.

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