President's Message


President’s Message

Dear colleagues, partners, friends,

Firstly, I would like to wish you and your families a wonderful and healthy 2020! I hope you had restful break over the holiday period and that you have returned to work energised to tackle together a better future for children and young people with cancer.


SIOP Europe President-Elect: Carmelo Rizzari

I would like to start by congratulating and welcoming Carmelo Rizzari as our President-Elect. Carmelo is well known to many of you, particularly in the IBFM and ITCC communities. He brings enormous expertise in paediatric leukaemia and has been highly committed both nationally and internationally to advancing research and training in paediatric haemato-oncology and is currently the co-chair for the SIOPE Clinical Research Council, representing the Clinical Trials Groups.  I look forward to working closely with him in the coming years.

Sadly, this is also the time that we bid a very fond farewell to Martin Schrappe as a SIOPE Board and SIOPE Past-President.  However, as a SIOPE Member, Chair of GPOH and a member of the SIOPE Annual Meeting Operations Committee, I am pleased that we will continue to have Martin’s expertise and support close at hand.


New team member on the SIOPE Office

I am pleased to announce that SIOPE has welcomed a new employee to the team and our community.  Nathy van Vliet started her role as Society Administrator on 13 January replacing Elena Botanina who left us to progress her career at another organisation on 25 November 2019 and we wish Elena every success.


SIOPE Oncopolicy, Europe’s Cancer Plan, Policy Events

Our European oncopolicy activity continues to grow and is fundamental to SIOPE’s aim to increase political awareness of the issues that face children and young people with cancer.

I encourage you all to click on the links below to read about our latest oncopolicy activities:

Also, the SIOP Europe team and Board Member Ruth Ladenstein recently met with Stella Kyriakides (European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety) to discuss treatment, care and support for children suffering from cancer.  SIOPE welcomes the start of this positive partnership to bring a brighter future for children with cancer.

Furthermore, the European Commission will start its promotion of Europe’s Cancer Plan on World Cancer Day (4 February) – at an event in the European Parliament in Brussels, supported by the MEPs Against Cancer Interest Group.  This event aims to demonstrate the EU’s strong commitment to fighting cancer.  Although the EU has a long history in the fight against cancer, there are still many challenges ahead.  SIOPE Board Members have received invitations to take part and will be at the forefront of these discussions.

I am also delighted to inform you of the following key policy event aiming to influence the European health and research policies:

This event will be hosted by MEP Patrizia Toia (IT, S&D). The topic this year is about Artificial Intelligence and Big Data: Towards the next frontier in paediatric cancer research and innovation in Europe. Please do join us at this event where the paediatric haemato-oncology community together with parents/patients/survivor representatives will be inviting the new European Parliament to sustain and reinforce its commitment to really implement policies that address the needs of children and young people with cancer and their families..


Forthcoming SIOPE Events

In the Spring, SIOPE will hold its 2nd Annual Meeting in the beautiful city of Valencia. I hope that you have already registered..and if not, remember the early-bird registration closes 4th hurry!!

In addition, there are exciting upcoming events over the next few months.  I invite you to register if you haven’t done so already and look forward to welcoming our community at these excellent meetings in 2020:

We have also been busy developing the SIOPE educational pillar together with the European School of Oncology (ESO) and we are delighted to announce:


SIOPE Working Groups

As you may recall, that the SIOP Europe 2019 Annual Meeting in Prague saw the 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). You will find updates about these working groups in this newsletter.


Childhood Cancer Awareness Day: 15 February 2020

Kindly take note that 15 February is #ChildhoodCancerAwarenessDay and I encourage you to engage in local, national and international discussions by joining the SIOPE campaign on social media. Please stay tuned as we will be making an announcement to our community on 15 February!


SIOPE 2019 Milestones

SIOP Europe achieved many exciting milestones during 2019 as we launched several new activities.  To take a look back at SIOP Europe’s year, I invite you to read the highlights of this ‘action packed’ year in Touch Oncology.


I look forward to working with you all throughout 2020 and wish you a very fruitful and Happy New Year!


Pamela Kearns

SIOP Europe President