Recommendations for the organisation of care in paediatric radiation oncology across Europe (JARC)


The full article has been made available by the European Journal of Cancer (open access).

Disparities in survival and long-term side-effects from paediatric cancer are observed across European Society for Paediatric Oncology (SIOPE)-affiliated countries. The Joint Action on Rare Cancers (JARC) is a project supported by the European Union and member states aiming to formulate recommendations on rare cancers, including paediatric malignancies, to reduce inequalities and to improve health outcomes.

Most paediatric cancers are treated by a combination of systemic agents, surgery and/or radiotherapy. Radiotherapy for children is becoming increasingly complex because of the growing availability of new modalities and techniques and the evolution in molecular biology. These added challenges have the potential to enhance disparities in survival and side-effects between countries, but also among centres in the same country.

To tackle radiotherapy-related inequalities, representatives of SIOP Europe, European SocieTy for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO), Paediatric Radiation Oncology Society (PROS) and Childhood Cancer International – Europe (CCI Europe) defined ‘standard’ and ‘optional’ levels to deliver Good Clinical Practice–compliant treatment in paediatric radiation oncology with a focus on patient-related care, education and training.

In addition, more than 250 paediatric radiotherapy centres across the SIOPE-affiliated countries have been mapped. For a better understanding of resources in paediatric radiotherapy, JARC representatives are working on an online survey for paediatric radiation oncologists of each centre in SIOPE-affiliated countries.

The outcome of this survey will give an insight into the strengths and weaknesses of paediatric radiotherapy across SIOPE-affiliated countries and can be relevant for European Reference Networks in terms of collaboration pathways and referrals in paediatric radiotherapy.

The full article has been made available by the European Journal of Cancer (open access).