Message from the President & the Office

1.I would like to start my message by wishing all of you a wonderful new year, full of success and prosperity for you, your family and your friends. This newsletter is a special occasion for me to tell you that 98% of SIOPE members expressed their positive feedback on the appointed SIOPE President-Elect, and that today I feel honoured to announce that Professor Pamela Kearns (University of Birmingham, Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit, United Kingdom) will be the new President of SIOPE. 10 years ago, we established the SIOPE permanent secretariat in Brussels. The choice of this city was logic, for different reasons: the same year, SIOPE joined other 5 cancer-related societies to found ECCO (the European CanCer Organisation), also seated in Brussels. ECCO was created to represent their common interests and to organise a joint multidisciplinary congress, overcoming the single priorities of each oncology specialty and putting cancer patients at the centre. At the same time, paediatric oncology research was struggling to initiate clinical trials because of the approval of the EU Clinical Trials Directive, whose excessive bureaucracy was hindering any research endeavour. There was therefore a need to have a genuinely European paediatric oncology society at the heart of EU policy-making, conveying the united voice of paediatric oncologists and trying to influence the future health and research policies in this field. This is how SIOPE was born, and ten years later we cannot but be satisfied of the results. Not only our membership has known an incredible growth – we are counting today more than 1,600 members from 34 European countries – but also the scope and importance of our activities has widened. The SIOPE Strategic Plan ‘A European Cancer Plan for Children and Adolescents was the peak of what we have been able to achieve so far: obtaining the broadest possible consensus and getting everyone to collaborate and reach well-defined objectives, to provide better and safer childhood cancer treatment, care and follow up. Throughout 2017, we will therefore celebrate this 10th anniversary with different initiatives that you will discover along and which will officially start with our first “SIOPE Society Day”, which I hope you won’t miss. Very soon it will be World Cancer Day (February 4th), and to mark this appointment I would like to stress (again) the need to improve the accessibility and quality of childhood cancers treatments. Today, in line with the Plan, SIOPE is coordinating the development of several platform and projects in this direction, for the benefit of young patients. Moreover, we are strongly engaging in Europe with stakeholders and policy-makers to address this issue; you are warmly invited to attend the upcoming International Childhood Cancer Awareness Day (ICCD 2017) event on 7th March 2017 at the European Parliament to learn more about this. Last but not least, you too can contribute to our pan-European efforts to address the objectives of the SIOPE Strategic Plan by making a small donation to SIOPE ( Thank you very much in advance: by joining our forces, we can create a brighter future for children and adolescents with cancer.