SIOP Europe Strategic Plan Update 2021-2026
A European Cancer Plan for Children and Adolescents
The European Society for Paediatric Oncology (SIOP Europe) published the 2021-2026 Update of the SIOPE Strategic Plan – the European Cancer Plan for Children and Adolescents. This Update defines the key future strategic objectives for the paediatric cancer community in Europe with the overall aim to:
- Increase the cure rate for young people and adolescents with cancer
- Increase the quality of life for childhood cancer survivors in Europe
Background & main achievements
In 2015, SIOP Europe and the European paediatric haematology-oncology community launched a long-term sustainable Strategic Plan. The strategy pivoted around seven objectives of equal importance and the joint commitment by all stakeholders was crucial to support its implementation. The Update reviews progress against these objectives and reflects on what has been achieved, what remains a priority and which new initiatives should be launched for the coming 5 years.
Overall, substantial progress has been made against the SIOP Europe Strategic Plan’s objectives, notably the impact of the oncopolicy agenda, culminating in 2021 with the highly visible recognition of the needs of children and young people with cancer in the European Beating Cancer Plan and other EU initiatives. Significant steps towards achieving the SIOPE Strategic Plan objectives were encompassed in many collaborative initiatives, notably, ACCELERATE, ERN PaedCan, QUARTET and the Joint Action on Rare Cancers.
The 2019 launch of the first SIOP Europe Annual Meeting in partnership with the CCI Europe Annual Conference created the much-needed European platform for knowledge exchange and multi-disciplinary networking. This catalysed the initiation of several SIOP Europe Working Groups including the Young SIOPE Group bringing together young investigators in Europe, providing forums that are driving progress against the strategic objectives.
A major success has been the SIOP Europe’s Training and Education programme developed since 2015 to support training of the next generation of paediatric oncologists towards the delivery of high-quality care and research in paediatric oncology throughout Europe.
Strategic Plan Update - Strategic Objectives for 2021-2026
In the next 5 years, SIOP Europe will build on the achievements of the original Strategic Plan and will exploit the new opportunities in research technologies, notably in the arena of data science, machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) and will seize the opportunities within the European Beating Cancer Plan’s flagship initiative: Helping Children with Cancer and the Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe. We will unlock the potential funding streams, including from the Horizon Europe Mission Expert Advisory Board’s 11th recommendation: ‘Cancers in children, adolescents, young adults: cure more and cure better’. Importantly, alongside CCI Europe, SIOP Europe calls the creation of the EU Childhood Cancer Advisory Board that would support the coordination of actions across all relevant EU initiatives to foster a comprehensive inclusive approach, avoid the risk of fragmentation and accelerate the advancement towards the overall objective to cure more children, cure them better, and reduce inequalities.
SIOP Europe has updated its 7 objectives to align with the current and evolving clinical and research priorities for childhood and adolescent cancers in Europe:
Addressing Inequalities: to bring about equal access to standard care, expertise and clinical research for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up across Europe and to promote patient involvement and a patient-centred approach throughout.
Precision Medicine and Treatment innovation: development of new, safer and more effective therapies and improved multi-factor risk classification (including molecular and immunological factors) to help guide decisions on which therapies to use.
Tumour Biology: to foster increased knowledge of tumour biology and speed up translation from basic research to clinical care to benefit patients.
Teenagers and Young Adults: to address the specific needs of teenagers and young adults (TYA), in cooperation with adult oncology.
Quality of Survivorship: to address the consequences of cancer treatment such as long-term complications, to better understand the genetic background/risk of an individual, and to improve quality of life of childhood cancer survivors.
Causes of Cancer: to understand the causes of paediatric cancers and to address prevention wherever possible.
Big Data and Artificial Intelligence: to develop the infrastructure to implement Big Data and Artificial Intelligence research and innovation to the benefit of children and young people with cancer.
The SIOP Europe Strategic Plan Update includes the summary of achievements since 2015, action plan for the next 5 years (2021-2026), a detailed overview of the SIOP Europe’s oncopolicy programme, education and training opportunities and highlights initiatives and projects where joint efforts are needed. All our stakeholders invested in tackling the key issues faced by children and adolescents with cancer are invited to read this document, raise awareness, and engage in projects.
Despite the considerable progress, we continue to face the reality of cancer remaining the leading cause of death of children beyond one year of age, as well as the growing number of survivors in Europe. SIOP Europe is committed to strengthen the collaboration with its members, community, and a pivotal partnership with the Parents & Survivors organisations to assure the best possible care and outcomes for all children and young people affected by cancer in Europe. SIOP Europe strongly believes that the Strategic Plan Update will be the key document providing guidance and direction for the European paediatric cancer community for the upcoming years.
About SIOP Europe
The European Society for Paediatric Oncology (SIOP Europe or SIOPE) is the only pan-European organisation representing all professionals working in the field of childhood cancers. With more than 2300 members across 35 European countries, SIOPE is leading the way to ensure the best possible care and outcomes for all children and adolescents with cancer in Europe.