SIOPE marks the European Week Against Cancer

Despite important progress, childhood cancer remains the leading cause of children’s death by disease in Europe: more than 6,000 young people die of cancer every year, and approximately 300,000 childhood cancer survivors experience treatment side-effects that last well into adulthood. During the European Week Against Cancer SIOPE (the European Society for Paediatric Oncology) intends to draw attention to the importance of improving the quality of survivorship and increasing the cure rate of children and young people with cancer. PCSF EU ConferenceThus, SIOPE is co-organising the first European Conference on survivorship after childhood cancer ‘PanCareSurFup for Childhood Cancer Survivors – Acting Now!’ on 23-24 May 2016 in Brussels (BE). SIOPE and the conference organisers are delighted to cooperate with Mr. Alojz Peterle MEP (SL, EPP) and President of the MEPs Against Cancer (MAC) Group, who will open this important event. Participants – including policy-makers, healthcare professionals, researchers, childhood cancer survivors and their families – will jointly address the current challenges in ensuring survivors’ quality of life: while 80% of children and adolescents are expected to survive cancer, many of them face significant long-term effects that are usually severe and impact on their daily life. Quality of survivorship is one of the main objectives of the SIOPE Strategic Plan – ‘A European Cancer Plan for Children and Adolescents’, a milestone document agreed by the entire childhood cancer community which puts forward concrete solutions to the current issues in paediatric oncology/haematology in Europe. In line with its Strategic Plan, SIOPE has been actively engaging with EU policy-makers to ensure that childhood cancer is high on their agenda. This year during an event marking World Cancer Day (4th February) at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, where SIOPE benefited from the support of Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis (LT), Board Member Prof. Gilles Vassal stressed the importance of cooperating with policy-makers and all stakeholders to accelerate paediatric cancer drug development. The priority for the entire childhood cancer community at present is indeed the revision of the EU Paediatric Medicines Regulation. Ten years after it was first adopted, it is time to make the urgent changes to ensure that children and adolescents with difficult-to-treat forms of cancer have an improved access to potentially life-saving innovation. MEP Alojz Peterle, MEP Glenis Willmott, and MEP Francoise Grossetête are among the champions of the paediatric cancer cause in the European Parliament. In 2014, these and 17 other MEPs declared their willingness to “support the paediatric oncology and haematology community in Europe in fighting childhood cancer” by endorsing the Electoral Manifesto for the paediatric oncology and haematology community, a joint initiative of childhood cancer professionals and parent organisations via the Regional Committee of Childhood Cancer International (CCI). Having proved strong in making sure that the priorities of the European paediatric oncology community are heard, SIOPE looks forward to working with the MEPs but also the European Commission, Council and the Member States to make more successful cure for childhood cancer possible, joining forces with all those who care about the future of children and adolescents with cancer. More information: