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ECCO Newsletter to members of its Patient Advisory Committee (PAC)

ECCO’s strategic renewal process has culminated in the development of a strategic plan which was approved by the Board in late February 2015. Since then we have been working to prepare a more detailed plan and we are pleased to provide you with an update on our progress in this first edition of the ECCO Newsletter to the PAC. Please feel free to share it within your own organisation.

New ECCO Statutes

We have listened to our members and are bringing an organisation with a renewed membership base embracing the principles of equality and fully democratic elections.

ECCO will aim to be the voice of European cancer professionals as mandated by our member societies. All members will be entities representing the interests of healthcare professionals.

We are changing the ECCO statutes to ensure they reflect what our members asked for: a single membership category with all members having an equal voice and an equal participation in the running of the organisation.

The previously existing member categories will be merged into one and patient advocacy organisations will have a strong presence through the ECCO Patient Advisory Committee (PAC).

The new statutes will be voted on during the upcoming General Assembly taking place during the European Cancer Congress in Vienna. 

ECCO Headquarters Update

It is planned that Michel Ballieu, ECCO CEO, will retire at the end of this year following a long and distinguished service to the organisation. The ECCO Board is working on securing the optimal succession for this key post.
Your role in ECCO’s work

Patient-centricity is a core value of ECCO. Under the new ECCO statutes (cf above new ECCO statutes) the Chair of the Patient Advisory Committee (PAC) will have a seat with voting rights on the ECCO Board. The current PAC will have a new composition as of 2016 that will seek to reflect the full breadth of patient advocacy groups working across Europe in line with ECCO’s vision and the new ECCO PAC Terms of Reference adopted by the Board in February this year.

At its 1 September 2015 meeting, the ECCO Board approved the list of patient advocacy organisations which you, the ECCO Patient Advisory Committee, proposed.

The patient advocacy organisations will soon be invited to nominate a representative to sit on the ECCO Patient Advisory Committee for a two-year mandate (2016-2017).

Quality Cancer Care

Currently available guidelines on cancer care define the medical content of optimal treatment of a given type of cancer but do not give indications on how to organise this treatment and how to measure its outcome.

There is hence a need for defining organisational criteria on how to deliver this optimal care to each patient and for quality performance indicators (QPI) that can help to measure the efficacy of the clinical guidelines.

Because of its unique multidisciplinarity nature, ECCO is in the position to start producing and publishing recommended care delivery procedures and QPI for selected tumour types, thus complementing at least most of the available clinical guidelines. Cancer professionals could then count not only on evidence-based treatment guidelines for each tumour type but also on indications on how exactly to deliver quality care. Recommendations should start from the definition of minimum requirements to deliver a quality care for a given tumour type to the definition of the optimal level of care. Suggested criteria should be divided into “mandatory” and “recommended”. The feasibility of this approach will be assessed through a pilot phase (year 2016) in which selected cancers will be discussed.

Members will be invited to provide representatives to participate in consensus groups during the work on selected tumour types.

The patient perspective will always be considered in defining quality of care for each tumour type and therefore the PAC will be invited to participate in the consensus groups.


ECCO seeks to promote policies to underpin the realisation of multidisciplinarity in cancer care, and to provide multidisciplinary responses to shape policymaking in common areas of concern across the cancer continuum.

Under the leadership of Prof. Peter Naredi, President-Elect, ECCO is working to define its oncopolicy agenda starting in 2016.

Through the Oncopolicy survey with member societies, we have been able to identify several key areas where they believe ECCO will have an important role to play in influencing policy. These include treatment and care matters, palliative care, organisation of cancer services, quality assurance and the oncology workforce.

A number of elements are important to ensure an optimal oncology workforce for Europe’s cancer patients, including a sufficient number of trained professionals, education and training of professionals and recognition of professional qualifications. The ECCO Board has thus created an oncopolicy workstream to tackle these issues, with the first area of focus likely to be the recognition of oncology nursing.

A second workstream is around quality assurance and organisation of cancer services, with issues to be tackled including multidisciplinarity, quality assurance and cancer registration, amongst others.

Depending on the specific issue, and whether ECCO Member Societies are undertaking initiatives in the area, ECCO will either lead on oncopolicy activities, provide support to one or more of it’s Member Societies or act as a coordination platform, ensuring no duplication or overlap of efforts between members.

An Oncopolicy Committee, responsible for proposing and implementing ECCO’s oncopolicy strategy, will be created. It will be composed of one representative from each Member Society willing to contribute to ECCO’s oncopolicy work and a patient representative from the PAC (PAC Chair or co-Chair). In the coming weeks, all Member Societies will be invited to assign one representative to this Committee. The first meeting of the Committee is expected to take place at the end of this year.

ECCO2017 European Cancer Congress

In Vienna, we will be sharing the first announcement of the ECCO2017 European Cancer Congress.

Building on ECCO’s established track record in multidisciplinary cancer treatment and care, ECCO2017 will reflect our organisation’s ongoing commitment to prioritise it as the way forward.  This Congress has the full support of ECCO’s diverse member societies – such as ESSO, ESTRO, EONS, SIOPE and others - who will play an active role in the design of its innovative content.

As we are presented with more and more new discoveries in each of our treatment disciplines, as well as in pathology, imaging, supportive and palliative care, discussion of these developments in a multidisciplinary context is vital to driving improvements in the actual patient journey:

  • Today’s innovations – how do we integrate them into multidisciplinary patient cancer care?
  • The innovations of yesterday – how did they work in the real world?
  • How do we prioritise and pay for the most effective approaches?
  • How do we organise cancer care delivery amid rapidly increasing complexity?

We look forward to collaborating with you, on our current and future activities!

See you in Vienna!
The ECCO Team

ECCO Newsletter to PAC Members
  Key Events 2015  

25-29 Sep (Vienna) :

21 Oct (Brussels) :
ECCO Board



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