SIOPE in 2017: A Few Thoughts from the SIOPE Office

We are so glad to see that the SIOPE General Assembly meeting, which took place on 29th June 2017 in Brussels, has been another success. After so many years and so many efforts together, our Society is in good shape, ready to face the new challenges ahead and to continue to fight for better cures for children and adolescents. We are aware that treating most childhood cancers is possible, and that all we need to do is to avoid multiplying initiatives and join the complementary types of knowhow available in our community. The European Reference Network for paediatric oncology (ERN PaedCan) is a successful example of how pooling resources – in this case, the existing paediatric cancer expertise in some European healthcare centres – can address common problems, namely the lack of access to standards of treatment in other areas of Europe and the need to regulate the cross-border mobility of young cancer patients. Concentrating our energies and resources to face common objectives was the reason behind the 2015 launch of the ‘SIOPE Strategic Plan – A European Cancer Plan for Children and Adolescents’, a central document which gathered the point of view of specialised study groups, healthcare professionals, and parent/patient groups. By jointly understanding the shared obstacles encountered in Europe, the Plan suggests strategic solutions to overcome them, regrouped under seven “macro-objectives”. These solutions were recommended and backed by the whole paediatric oncology community, and we are now in the implementation phase. We will soon make available a report on the state of advancement in the Plan’s implementation, which has been possible thanks to the resources gathered via different funding streams: European projects (we are now applying to different EU calls, which will support the realization of some of the Plan’s objectives), charities (in particular the Luxembourguese ‘Fondatioun Kriibskrank Kanner’) and the help of SIOPE members and supporters via our website We would like therefore to sincerely thank our dedicated members for their strenuous support to what we do: we wouldn’t be the only pan-European organisation dedicated to childhood and adolescent cancer if we didn’t receive a regular contribution and feedback from over 1,700 paediatric haematologists and oncologists from 34 European countries. Last but not least, we would like as well to thank the members of our Board of Directors for the time they dedicate to our many activities, always on a voluntary basis. Each of our members is active at different levels and in different disease areas, but all of them are driving our agenda further to increase cure rates, to improve access to standard care for every patient, and to ensure the best possible quality of life for long-term survivors across the region. The growth of SIOPE and all our achievements have been possible thanks to the great team effort and the strong commitment of all of us. Thank you.