International Childhood Cancer Day 2014

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2014 Edition: Tackling inequalities in paediatric cancer care and research across Europe

Tuesday, 18th February 2014, European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium - Hosted by Mrs. Glenis Willmott, MEP


Every year SIOPE marks International Childhood Cancer Day  (15 February). Since 2011, our Society also organises a high-level event at the European Parliament in order to raise aware ness on all the needs and the challenges faced by children and adolescents with cancer in Europe, and those who care for them. This year SIOPE effectively challenged the European institutions and civil society to act and support children and young adults with cancer.  During the high-level event Tackling inequalities in paediatric cancer care and research across Europe’ several Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from different countries and party groups, including candidates running for the upcoming European elections in May, agreed to endorse the SIOPE-ENCCA-ICCCPO electoral Manifesto for Paediatric Oncology, a fundamental document currently open for endorsement (here) by all those who care for the future of children affected by cancer. All speakers and panellists agreed on the need to increase the cure rate for poor prognosis paediatric malignancies and to enhance the quality of cure in survivors, addressing the existing inequalities in terms of research and care. The importance of reinforcing the collaboration between all stakeholders was central to the event. The discussions held last 18th February identified some key areas of work:
  • Clinical trials are the foundation of progress in paediatric oncology, and they should be better regulated at the European level;
  • Patients from all over Europe should have a greater access to clinical trials and state-of-the-art treatment and care;
  • Childhood cancer registries are essential to monitor treatment outcomes, and should be implemented in all European countries;
  • Sustainable support for childhood cancer survivors and long-term follow up should be provided across Europe;
  • Healthcare professionals working in paediatric oncology should have continued access to medical education;
  • More information on the disease and its treatment should be made available to patients and their families;
  • Strategic partnership with parent/patient organisations is a driver of positive change;
  • Outcome research should be enhanced in Europe.
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