Dear colleagues, partners, and friends,
Since I last wrote to you, I trust that that you and your families and loved ones are keeping well through this extraordinary global health emergency.
2021 was truly an extraordinary year for our paediatric oncology community and I am grateful for the commitment of our board members, team members and partners in supporting our many activities throughout the year to meet the needs of our community.
SIOPE Strategic Plan Update 2021-2026
I am delighted to inform you that on the occasion of the World Children’s Day, SIOP Europe has published the 2021-2026 Update of the SIOPE Strategic Plan – the European Cancer Plan for Children and Adolescents. This important Update re-defines our key future strategic objectives for the paediatric cancer community in Europe. The overall aim is to increase the cure rates for young people and adolescents with cancer and quality of life for children cancer survivors.
The SIOP Europe Strategic Plan Update includes the summary of achievements since 2015, an action plan for the next 5 years (2021-2026), a detailed overview of the SIOP Europe’s oncopolicy programme, SIOP Europe’s education and training opportunities and highlights significant initiatives and projects where joint efforts are needed. All our stakeholders are invested in tackling the key issues faced by children and adolescents with cancer and we invite you all to read this document, raise awareness, and engage in the projects.
I would like to thank every person that contributed to the creation of this Strategic Plan Update.
SIOPE Policy-related events and activities
This was a really important year for all of us due to the highly visible recognition of the needs of children and young people with cancer in a range of European Union (EU) initiatives. A spotlight on children and young people was evidenced in the 10th flagship initiative ‘Helping Children with Cancer’ within Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, the Horizon Europe Cancer Mission Board’s 11th recommendation for intervention: ‘Childhood cancers and cancers in adolescents and young adults: cure more and cure better’ and finally the Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe opening the potential for legislative change within the Paediatric and Orphan Regulations to address their failure to deliver new therapies for children. Our key challenge for the coming years will be to ensure the effective implementation of these strategies for the benefit of patients, their families and for survivors.
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
This year SIOP Europe dedicated the special Gold September – Childhood Cancer Awareness Month Policy Event to the importance of coordinated childhood cancer actions across all relevant EU initiatives. The event was held on 30 September 2021, with MEP Véronique Trillet-Lenoir as the host and in collaboration with CCI Europe, PanCare and the Association of European Cancer Leagues (ECL) as the MAC Secretariat. This event culminated in a united call from our community to the European Commission to establish a multi-stakeholder Childhood Cancer Advisory Board to enable a coordinated and meaningful implementation of the multiple European initiatives and opportunities.
We would like to thank everybody who supported our Childhood Cancer Awareness Month campaign on social media and especially our partners CCI Europe and PanCare. We are grateful to each member of our community for making an impact. Throughout September, we heard your voices, witnessed your backing and encouragement to highlight the 'Gold for Hope' campaign.
SIOP Europe has taken on the exciting new challenge of further expanding its educational programme. In order to anticipate and meet the future educational needs of the SIOP Europe community, we have formed an Educational Steering Committee, which will take on an advisory, strategic and quality assurance role for our Education and Training Prorgramme.
Several new educational initiatives were launched recently, and you can find out more about them on the SIOP Europe website.
We would also like to invite you to join us at the SIOP Europe Annual Meeting, which will take place in Valencia, Spain on 21-25 March 2022. This next edition of our Annual Meeting will focus on Joint Sessions, enabling direct interactions between multiple stakeholders, including the different Clinical Trial Groups, parent groups and survivors. The Plenary Sessions with promote multi-stakeholder discussions on important cross-tumour topics. We look forward to seeing you in person in Valencia next year!
This is my last newsletter as President of SIOP Europe and as of 1st January 2022, I will hand over this precious baton to the highly capable hands of Prof Carmelo Rizzari. I would like to congratulate my friend and colleague Carmelo and wish him a very successful and rewarding time as the SIOP Europe President.
I would also like to take this opportunity to personally thank all members who are stepping down from the Board this year – Tom Boterberg, François Doz, Lars Hjorth, Tomasz Szczepanski and Reineke Schoot. Without your dedication and passion, we would not have been in the same place. Thanks to your work, we are one step closer to achieving the SIOP Europe’s mission towards zero deaths & zero late effects.
Finally, thank you to all the SIOP Europe Board, the very special SIOP Europe Office, our SIOP Europe partners and especially to all of you for the amazing support and commitment towards achieving our collective goal to improve the lives of all children and young people who have been affected by cancer.
I invite all of you to read this newsletter and engage with us on social media.
On behalf of SIOP Europe, we hope this holiday season will be exceptionally good and safe for you and your families and we wish you much health and happiness in the upcoming year.
Prof Pamela Kearns
SIOP Europe President