Dear colleagues, partners, friends,
I hope you had the opportunity for relaxing break over the summer period and you are now refreshed and ready to face our common challenges for the remainder of this year.
I would like to start by updating you on our successful 1st SIOP Europe Annual Meeting, which took place on 20-24 May 2019 in Prague. This first Annual Meeting surpassed expectations in terms of attendance with 1489 participants from 65 countries. On behalf of the SIOP Europe Board, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the entire community, our members, committees, working groups, partners, sponsors, exhibitors and delegates in making this first Annual Meeting a resounding success. I would like to add a special thank you to CCI–Europe for working in partnership with us to unite our Annual Meetings.
One of the many outcomes of the SIOP Europe Annual Meeting in Prague was the official presentation and launch of 4 new Working Groups: Young SIOPE; SIOP Europe Radiation Oncology Working Group; SIOP Europe AYA Committee and the SIOP Europe Host Genome Working Group. These Working Groups bring together both young and leading multi-disciplinary experts in their respective area to, share expertise, develop new initiatives and to provide opportunities for education. We look forward to hearing updates on the important activities of these new groups in the coming months.
Another major accomplishment this year was the launch of SIOP Europe’s first Annual Report (2018). This report highlights SIOP Europe’s achievements during 2018 towards our vision and mission for the next decade: to increase the cure rate and the quality of cure of children with cancer. As this report shows, 2018 was an extraordinary year for SIOP Europe and one marked by a key milestone – celebrating 20 years of activity and progress in paediatric haemato-oncology in Europe. It is through the enthusiastic and committed efforts of our 1862 members from 35 European countries and the guidance from numerous key influencers in paediatric oncology and haematology, that SIOP Europe will continue transforming knowledge into innovative practice until our mission — the cure of all childhood cancers — is accomplished.
Our European oncopolicy activity is growing and is crucial to increasing political awareness of the issues that face children and young people with cancer. SIOP Europe’s policy agenda for paediatric cancer has gathered substantial support with our latest European Election Manifesto being launched on 6 March 2019. It gives six key recommendations to the MEPs (read here SIOP Europe’s Policy Priorities for the years 2019-2024) and we are delighted to announce that 31 European Members of Parliament (MEPs) have already endorsed our Manifesto in addition to 100+ organisations and 1000+ individuals. Together with all our partners, including CCI Europe and PanCare, we are committed to working with the incoming European legislators to meet the challenges that greatly impact children and adolescent cancer patients and survivors’ lives.
I am also delighted to share that with the announcement of a Mission area dedicated to cancer under the EU Framework Programme ‘Horizon Europe’, there is now cause for optimism for the future of cancer research in Europe. The incoming President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen recently highlighted plans for a European plan to fight cancer and dedicated members of the newly constituted European Parliament are ready for further engagement in the fight against the disease. We will continue to promote the importance of including children and young people in this agenda.
Regarding our upcoming events, I invite you to already mark your calendar since registration for both these events will be opening soon:
- 2nd SIOP Europe Annual Meeting: 4-8 May 2020 in Valencia, Spain
- 8th ACCELERATE Paediatric Oncology Conference: 6-7 February in Brussels, Belgium
Finally, please note that September is #ChildhoodCancerAwarenessMonth and I encourage you to engage in local, national and international discussions and join the SIOP Europe campaign on social media. Amongst a number SIOP Europe awareness-raising activities will be the ‘Dwars door Mechelen – Run for kids with cancer’ scheduled for 29 September 2019 in Mechelen, Belgium. To our colleagues and partners based in Belgium, we encourage you to join the SIOP Europe team to run 5k or 10k at your own pace and raise awareness about childhood cancer. Please save the dates and we look forward to welcoming you.
I would like to take this opportunity to once again thank all our members and our entire community for your dedication and tireless efforts. Together, I am confident that we will create a brighter future for children and young people with cancer.
I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible next month at the SIOP 2019 Congress (23-26 October) in Lyon, France.
This newsletter contains the latest update on all SIOP Europe activities, projects, events and I hope you enjoy reading it!
SIOP Europe President