Health Systems and Quality Cancer Care Network

Contact the Network

European Cancer Summit 2023 Sessions: Comprehensive Quality Cancer Care for All and Pragmatic Clinical Trials - A crucial building block for health systems and treatment? 

Summit sessions quality cancer care health systems

Watch the session recordings on Health Systems Optimisation and Quality Cancer Care and read the full European Cancer Summit 2023 Report to discover the rich and diverse discussions of these sessions.

The Time to Move Forward on Treatment Optimisation is Now!

The European Parliament’s Special Committee on Beating Cancer (BECA) held an expert hearing devoted to the equal access to cancer medicines and treatments. Speaking at the hearing, Denis Lacombe, Director-General of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) and Co-Chair of the Health Systems and Treatment Optimisation Network, highlighted the need for the European Union to move further forward on achieving the ambitions of the widely supported treatment optimisation agenda.

Denis Lacombe drew the attention of the Committee to recent scientific evidence highlighting clear gaps in the cancer research continuum, as well as in the knowledge on how to best use approved cancer treatments. These unaddressed areas are impeding patient access to optimal cancer treatment and yet are not gaining significant enough attention within prevalent EU strategies.

More information on the hearing, including a video recording and written summary, can be found here on the European Parliament's website.

Essential Requirements for Quality Cancer Care: Ovarian - Launched in September 2023:

Ovarian banner small sizeThe full list of Essential Requirements for Quality Cancer Care published so far is provided below.

Promoting Key Rights of Cancer Patients and Survivors 
Code 950 499

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.

Latest Network Reports
Position Paper on the EU Propositions for Comprehensive Cancer Infrastructures

Comprehensive Cancer Care Report Cover 900 440

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

Action Report on Lung Cancer
Leave no one behind Report Cover 900 428

The Community 365 Roundtable Meeting on Lung Cancer 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, and a basis for advocacy with ERS, ESR, LUCE and others.

Essential Requirements of Quality Cancer Care
erqcc 950x600 rev2

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.

European Quality Cancer Care Catalogue
qcc catalogue 900

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.


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.'

In recent decades, advancements in cancer care have significantly improved diagnostic speed and accuracy, the effectiveness of surgery, radiation therapy, and medical treatments, and the utilisation of information technology. Additionally, the development of multidisciplinary, specialist-led care approaches has been crucial. These innovations are essential for continuing to improve cancer patient care across Europe, especially in the face of financial constraints on healthcare systems.

To support health systems in navigating the decision-making challenges posed by new treatment options, members of the European Cancer Organisation have initiated various actions such as the EORTC Treatment Optimisation manifesto and projects aimed at fostering more value-based approaches to innovation uptake.

This network collaborates with over 45 European Cancer Organisation Member Societies, the Patient Advisory Committee, and Community 365, alongside invited experts to centralise best practices in its flagship repository: The Quality Cancer Care Catalogue.

Key missions of the network include:

  • Treatment optimisation, focusing on improving cancer treatment for the benefit of patients;
  • Health systems optimisation, aiming to enhance cancer care delivery for the benefit of healthcare systems.

To learn more or to support our work, please contact us This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Other networks