The European Commission has launched new funding calls for EU4Health and Horizon Europe – another sign of its commitment to Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan andCancer Mission. With the valuable support of the cancer community, the European Cancer Organisation (ECO) is proud to answer some of these latest calls. We were privileged to be awarded the coordination of our first EU4Health project (INTERACT-EUROPE) earlier this year. Our assignment is to develop an inter-specialty cancer training programme (ISCTP) across the European region.
Our approach in everything we do is profoundly holistic. We have long maintained that multidisciplinary and multiprofessional teams, working collaboratively, are the only way to provide the highest quality of care to patients, many of whom have complex medical needs. It is why we are gathering professionals from all oncology disciplines to craft a comprehensive training programme, providing oncologists with a broader understanding of the tasks and responsibilities of their colleagues.
This is only possible through our unique consortium of 33 partner organisations from 17 countries, including the European School of Oncology who have vast experience in this area. The consortium brings together a diverse mix of expertise to set the standard for inter-specialty cancer training in Europe.
As coordinators of this 18-month project, we organised its launch on 27 and 28 June at an in-person kick-off meeting in Brussels, with many of our INTERACT-EUROPE partners in attendance. We also had an opportunity to meet and discuss informally during an event at the European Parliament with Tomislav Sokol MEP, to whom we are grateful for his consistent support.
The INTERACT-EUROPE website (interact-europe.org) is now up and running, providing you with details on project deliverables, publications, and newsletters. We encourage you to follow the project’s progress and to be part of this much-needed upgrade in cancer care training.
More recently, the European Commission has asked the ECO to co-ordinate two additional projects: PROTECTEUROPE, which addresses the need for a national, genderneutral, HPV vaccination programme in EU Member States; and smartCARE, to develop a ‘Cancer Survivor Smart Card’. We are now busy finalising details so we can hopefully launch both projects next year.
On behalf of our member societies, the ECO is dedicated to supporting the Beating Cancer Plan in any way possible with the resources we have available. We are now contributing to a variety of other EU projects through our communication efforts. If you are leading a consortium and interested in having us contribute, please contact us.
We believe that we cannot leave change to chance. We cannot simply react to current circumstances. Instead, we must act – and interact – to meet the growing needs of European cancer patients for years to come.