ECCO 2019 European Cancer Summit

Programme and Resources









Thursday 12 September 2019

12:00 - 13:00 Welcome Networking Lunch
  The ECCO Board of Directors and Chief Executive invite all delegates to join them for a networking lunch.

13:00 - 14:00

Since we met last time


Download the Session Report


Moderated by ECCO 2019 Summit Co-Chairs: Prof Philip Poortmans, President of the European CanCer Organisation (ECCO) and Dr Ian Banks, ECCO Board Member and Chair of the ECCO Patient Advisory Committee


After a welcome and introduction, the opening session will feature a report back on elements of progress made in respect to the themes and issues given attention at the ECCO 2018 European Cancer Summit.


In respect to resolutions for action passed at the ECCO 2018 Summit:

  • Prof Mehmet Ungan, President of WONCA Europe, will outline ongoing activities to achieve greater integration of primary care contribution to improving cancer patient outcomes.
    View the Presentation
  • Simon Oberst, Chair of the Organisation of European Cancer Institutes (OECI) Accreditation & Designation Programme, will speak to OECI and ECCO activities to help continually move forward quality of cancer care in all European countries.
    View the Presentation
  • Prof Françoise Meunier, Vice President of the Federation of European Academies of Medicine (FEAM), will update on key legislative achievements in 2019 in respect to protecting cancer survivors from financial discrimination.
    View the Presentation



  • Kathy Oliver, Co-Director of the International Brain Tumour Alliance (IBTA) and Vice-Chair of the ECCO Patient Advisory Committee, will share recent work of the All.Can initiative, including a recent report of a survey of almost 4,000 people affected by different cancers across 10 countries. More information here.
    View the Presentation

    Report: New survey highlights problems faced by cancer patients

  • Prof Yolande Lievens, Past President of the European SocieTy for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO), will provide an update on how principles of value based healthcare can achieve greater application to non-systemic treatment areas. More information here.
    View the Presentation



14:00 - 15:30

‘Putting a person on the moon’: How to deliver mission orientated cancer activity


Download the Session Report


Moderated by Professor Mark Lawler, Queen’s University Belfast & Vice President of the European Cancer Concord, and Gilliosa Spurrier-Bernard, ECCO Patient Advisory Committee & Melanoma Patient Network Europe.


The MEPs Against Cancer (MAC) group has recently stated that Beating Cancer is ‘Mission Possible’. ECCO couldn’t agree more.

But with a wealth of micro and macro missions stated on cancer, both nationally and internationally, what is the secret to implementation success in reaching ambitious goals?

The session will examine, variously, EU mission activity on cancer, sector and tumour specific targets for improvement, and the goal orientated approaches employed by ECCO member societies and patient associations.

How can multi-sectoral and multi-disciplinary action be effectively harnessed and targeted towards obtainment of a shared goal in cancer?

What have we learned so far, and what are the secrets of mission success?

3 scene-setting presentations will open up the principal discussion points:

  • Dr Jan-Willem van de Loo, Scientific and Policy Officer at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation will provide update on the background and current status of the EU Cancer Mission.
    View the Presentation
  • Prof Thierry Philip, President of the Organisation of European Cancer Institutes (OECI), which has been convening stakeholder organisations for consensus positioning on cancer mission related matters (see special edition of Tumori Journal, June 2019), will speak to the need for “A mission to fight inequalities in cancer all over Europe”.
    View the Presentation
  • Prof Mark Lawler of Queen’s University Belfast and the European Cancer Concord, will speak to the work of the Lancet Oncology Cancer Groundshot, highlighting the cost-effective, practical and proven measures for greatly improving outcomes in the fight against cancer that still remain to be fully taken up across Europe.


Panel perspectives will thereafter be provided by:

  • Prof Gilles Vassal, Past President of the European Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP Europe)
  • Prof Véronique Trillet-Lenoir, MEP, Liste Renaissance, France 


Report: European Commission’s cancer plans called into question at high-level summit


15:30 - 16:00 Coffee Break
16:00 - 18:00 Resolution Session: Eliminating HPV related cancers


Download the Session Report


Moderated by Prof Daniel Kelly (ECCO Board Member, Past President of EONS)

The goal of eliminating HPV related cancers is a mercifully obtainable one, but requires a truly multi-stakeholder and multidisciplinary effort to achieve.

How close are we to reaching this goal? What still stands in the way? Can a fresh consensus and coalition for action be expressed and formed via the Summit session?


Co-led with the European Society of Gynaecological Oncology (ESGO), the session will investigate such matters as gender neutral vaccination, the economic evidence for prevention actions, and relevant and recent EU and national experiences in respect to combatting limiting factors such as the spread of ‘fake news’ about vaccination.


Part 1 of the session (“the Global Picture”) will illuminate the opportunities for HPV elimination through two scene-setting presentations:

  • Dr Maria Kyrgiou, Imperial College London, UK, will outline the epidemiology of HPV infection and the impact from HPV vaccination
  • Dr Murat Gultekin, Chair of the ESGO Prevention & Diagnostics Task Force and the European Network of Gynaecological Cancer Advocacy Groups (ENGAGe), will examine the opportunities for improving HPV screening and ESGO led collaborations at the international level.
    View the Presentation


Part 2 of the session, “Eliminating HPV in Europe” will bring event attendees towards a determining vote on a Summit resolution.

  • Peter Baker, HPV Action UK, will describe the successful campaign to achieve gender neutral HPV vaccination in the UK and progress towards establishing a similar campaign at the European level
    View the Presentation
  • Professor Daniel Kelly, ECCO and EONS, will explain the development of the Summit resolution on HPV elimination and the accompanying action plan.
    View the Presentation


The session will close with a live vote on a consensus resolution on the elimination of HPV related cancers and diseases, to be taken to the EU for implementation during the 2019-2024 mandate period. 



18:00 - 19:30 Welcome Reception


The Welcome Reception will take place at the ECCO 2019 Summit venue, Brussels Marriott Hotel Grand Place, and is open to all ECCO 2019 European Cancer Summit delegates.


Friday 13 September 2019

09:00 - 09:30  Spotlight session: Clinical Trials Across Borders


Download the Session Report


Moderated by Jan Geisler, CML Advocates Network and ECCO Patient Advisory Committee


No significant EU legislative initiative has been taken to improve the access  to clinical trials for patients living in another EU country. With this in mind, in a collaborative effort, a team comprised of researchers from the European Forum for Good Clinical Practice (EFGCP), the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), KU Leuven and Patvocates, with the support of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), engaged in an exploratory study on this topic.


  • Teodora Lalova, EORTC Research Fellow, will provide Summit attendees with a first look at the preliminary results of the research.
    View the Presentation
  • Dr Ingrid Klingman, European Forum for Good Clinical Practice (EFGCP)


Report: EU cancer group calls for better cross-border access to clinical trials


09:30 - 11:30 Artificial Intelligence: Breaking down borders in cancer care in ways not yet known?


Download the Session Report


Moderated by Prof Regina Beets-Tan, ECCO Board Member and 2nd Vice-President of the European Society of Radiology (ESR) and Sema Erdam, Europa Donna


Artificial intelligence in cancer care is now well past the realm of science fiction. It is here already. Some examples include:

  • The use of AI to evaluate if an X-ray is normal, allowing radiologists to focus their time more effectively on the analysis of abnormal images;
  • Machine learning techniques to improve the identification of DNA mutations within cancers and even to forecast future genetic changes; and,
  • A surge of start-up companies focused on using AI and machine learning to accelerate new drug discovery and optimal use of technology in surgery and radiation oncology.


The Summit session on AI, led by the European Society of Radiology (ESR), and moderated by Prof Regina Beets-Tan, ECCO Board Member and 2nd Vice-President of ESR, will examine such matters as:

  • The ways in which AI is already impacting cancer care;
  • What can be expected in the future in respect to AI’s impact on cancer care; and,
  • How regulatory, commercial, governmental, healthcare professional and patient stakeholders are responding to AI trends in cancer care.


Following a scene setting presentation from Prof Ivana Isgum of the Image Sciences Institute at UMC Utrecht, perspectives and insights will be developed with speakers including:

  • Saila Rinne, Head of Policy Sector, DG CONNECT of the European Commission
  • Laura McDonald, Associate Director, Real-World Research, CORDS, Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS)
  • Dr William Allum, Consultant Upper GI surgeon at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, UK
  • Prof Vincenzo Valentini, Past President of the European SocieTy for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO) 
  • Dr. Adrian Brady, Chair of the ESR Quality, Safety and Standards Committee


View the Presentation by Ivana Isgum


Report: AI: A vision for future cancer care


11:30 - 11:45

Coffee Break

11:45 - 12:30 In conversation with… Dr Vytenis Andriukaitis, EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety 2014-2019


Download the Session Report


Dr Andriukaitis has been invited to provide his reflections on the achievements of the 2014-2019 European Commission mandate in respect to aiding countries in combating cancer and assisting patients to receive optimal care and treatment.
View the Presentation


Report: Spending on cancer prevention is ‘a drop in the ocean’, says Andriukaitis



12:30 - 13:30


13:30 - 15:30 Accessing treatment across borders: don’t stop us now!


Download the Session Report


Moderated by Prof Ruth Ladenstein, project coordinator of the European Reference Network (ERN) for paediatric cancer, ERN PaedCan and Anita Kienesberger, Childhood Cancer International (CCI).


8 years since EU Member States agreed to the text of an EU Cross border healthcare directive, how far on are we in respect to enabling cancer treatment across borders?


Known barriers remain, including:

  • Difficulties in sharing patient data across borders and systems;
  • Ongoing reimbursement challenges, including financial toxicity for cancer patients when meeting out of pocket payments; and
  • A continuing challenge to raise healthcare professional and patient awareness of, and access to information about, their rights to cross border treatment.


The session will open with an overview by Hélène le Borgne and Caroline Hager from the Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety of the European Commission. The presentation will cover the background to the Directive on the application of patient rights in Cross-Border Healthcare and the European Reference Networks concept, progress in their implementation so far and the working challenges to their operations presently being overcome.


View the Presentation by Caroline Hager
View the Presentation by Hélène le Borgne


Via panel and audience interchange further insights and views on the way forward will be drawn out, including from:

15:30 - 16:00 Coffee Break 
16:00 - 18:00 How does access to innovative cancer medicines fit in high quality cancer care and well-functioning health system as a whole?


Download the Session Report


Moderated by Teodora Kolarova, ECCO Patient Advisory Committee and International Neuroendocrine Cancer Alliance (INCA) and Maria Krini, The Cyprus Association of Cancer Patients and Friends ( PASYKAF).


Led by the European Cancer Leagues (ECL), this session will pick up on the recommendations and research of the ECL Access to Medicines Taskforce, which has brought attention to the disparities in availability of cancer treatments across Europe, some of the variety of factors underlying this, and potential mechanisms for European cooperation that may achieve improvement.


View the Presentation by Maria Krini


After an opening presentation from Dr Kim Linton, Clinical Senior Lecturer in the Division of Molecular & Clinical Cancer Sciences at The University of Manchester, UK, the session will take further insights on questions of access from, among others:

  • Dr Detlev Parow, Head of Patient Care Management at DAK-Gesundheit, Germany
    View the Presentation
  • Usman Khan, Executive Director of the European Patients’ Forum
  • Alexandre Lourenço, President of the Portuguese Association of Hospital Managers, Portugal
Wrap up:
  • Dr Wendy Yared, Director of the Association of European Cancer Leagues (ECL)
20:00 - 22:30 Networking Event (pre-registration required)


The Networking event will take place at the iconic Atomium. Exchanging ideas with colleagues from around the world and enjoying exclusive access to four spheres of the Atomium will be a unique opportunity only available to the ECCO 2019 Summit delegates registered for the Networking event. For more information and to register, please click here



Saturday 14 September 2019

09:00 - 11:00

Clinical cancer research across Europe: Do we need to change tracks?



Download the Session Report


Moderated by Dr Denis Lacombe, Director of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) and Roger Wilson, sarcoma survivor and patient advocate.


Precision oncology and new approaches to clinical trials are already changing the way practitioners in the research environment think about evidence gathering. Meanwhile, there is a growing policy understanding of the need to employ a fuller suite of clinical outcomes within research, treatment evaluation and reimbursement decisions. This means making use of a stronger range of quality of life indicators alongside patient survival.


The content and focus will invite summit delegates to reflect on the existing landscape of clinical cancer research across Europe, and the possibilities for improvement by paradigm shift, with the ultimate goal of better enabling rationale access to therapeutic strategies. 


Building on the EORTC ‘Manifesto for a new approach for better medicine in Europe’ and recently published proposals for reforming the model for late translational research, the session will also reflect on the role of data in driving change and improvement in research, and the remaining obstacles to more meaningful exchange between systems in this area.


Finally, the session will also consider how models of clinical research in cancer in Europe can better involve the expertise and contributions of all healthcare professionals and the patient community. 


The range of issues addressed in the session will be opened via 3 presentations:

  • Dr Denis Lacombe, Director of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) will convey potential approaches for bringing new therapeutic strategies into being, including proposed reforms required to existing processes within the European regulatory environment.
    View the Presentation
  • Dr Magda Chlebus, Executive Director of Science Policy, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), will speak to her considerations of what is required to make treatment optimisation a reality.
  • Dr Ralf Herold, Scientific Officer, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), will give a picture of the EMA’s response to evolving debates on new endpoints and some of the continuing controversies and potential misunderstandings in this areas.
    View the Presentation

Moderated exchange will then take place between the audience on session speakers, including panelists:

  • Marcus Guardian, Chief Operating Officer, the European Network for Health Technology Assessment (EUNETHA)
  • Jo de Cock, Chief Executive Officer, the National Institute of Health and Disability Insurance, Belgium

Report: EU clinical cancer research needs ‘radical rethink’, summit hears


11:00 - 11:30 Coffee Break
11:30 - 12:15
In conversation with…Dr. Blase N. Polite, Member of the ASCO Board of Directors


Download the Session Report


Dr Polite has been invited to share approaches by ASCO in the United States to issues and topic in focus at the European Cancer Summit, including in respect to improving quality of cancer care and ensuring better equity of access to treatment.




12:15 - 13:15

13:15 - 14:45

Specialisation in cancer care: It's a cross border issue



Download the Session Report

Moderated by Emma Woodford, Chief Operating Officer of the European Oncology Nursing Society (EONS) and Anne-Marie BairdECCO Patient Advisory Committee and Lung Cancer Europe (LuCE).


250 years ago, economist Adam Smith set out how specialisation of workforces drives increased output and prosperity, helping to trigger a global industrial revolution. Does specialisation in the cancer workforce have similar impacts for improving outcomes for patients and health systems?


Key matters to be addressed by the session will include:

  • The history of professional specialisation in cancer care, and benefits achieved
  • Factors driving oncology workforce specialisation in the present era, including scientific development, complexity of care, and new opportunities for professional development 
  • Case studies of specialisation in cancer care
  • Challenges to achieving specialisation, including:
    o Fragmentation in approaches across countries
    o National and EU level regulatory barriers and difficulties
  • Opportunities to further achieving and embedding specialisation in cancer care
  • Recommendations and conclusions to be carried forward for the European Commission term 2019-2024


Dr Andreas Charalambous, President Elect of the European Oncology Nursing Society (EONS), will open the session by providing an overview on the history of specialisation in cancer care, its drivers and the challenges to be overcome and the cancer nursing case study.
View the Presentation


Thereafter, in combination with audience exchange, expert panellists will provide perspectives and experiences from their domain of cancer care, including: 

  • Prof Klaus Meier, ECCO Board Member, President of the European Society of Oncology Pharmacy (ESOP) and Chair of the ECCO Oncopolicy Committee
    View the Presentation 
  • Prof Sergio Sandrucci, European Society of Surgical Oncology (ESSO)
    View the Presentation
14:45 - 15:15 Coffee Break
15:15 - 16:45 Molecular tumour diagnostics in cancer care: should it be an essential requirement?


Download the Session Report


Moderated by Prof Peter Schirmacher, European Society of Pathology (ESP) and Dr Matti Aapro, ECCO President-Elect and Board Member of the European School of Oncology (ESO).

Co-led by ECCO member European Society of Pathology (ESP), this session will delve into such questions as:

  • In what ways is molecular testing already being used in cancer care in Europe and elsewhere?
  • What can we expect in the future?
  • How is the patient community viewing these developments and what are their key asks in respect to achieving improvements?
  • How are regulatory and governmental stakeholders responding to the challenges of molecular testing in cancer care, including the growing evidence of hereditary components of cancer?
  • How are professions responding to molecular testing?
  • What caveats around molecular testing must all stakeholders in cancer care be aware of?


3 presentations will seek to provide answer to such questions:

  • Prof Peter Schirmacher, European Society of Pathology (ESP), will unpack the regulatory and practice challenges of molecular testing from the clinician perspective, including provision of information to patients
  • Jan Geissler, the CML Advocates Network and ECCO Patient Advisory Committee (PAC), will provide thoughts on the provision of access to molecular testing across Europe
    View the Presentation
  • Prof Koen Norga, European Medicines Agency (EMA) will outline differing and converging regulatory approaches in the area of molecular testing and impacts in respect to existing and forthcoming regulation
    View the Presentation


Dr Schirmacher and Dr Aapro will then be assisted in opening up the subject for further examination by bringing in a variety of perspectives, including from:

16:45 - 17:00 Summit Closing


The closing session will focus on the main highlights and Summit's conclusions. 

View the Presentation

  • Prof Philip Poortmans - President, European CanCer Organisation (ECCO)
  • Dr Matti Aapro - ECCO President-Elect, European School of Oncology (ESO)
  • Dr Ian Banks - ECCO Board of Directors, ECCO Patient Advisory Committee (ECCO PAC)
  • Mike Morrissey - ECCO Chief Executive