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Leading cancer research team win the 2018 European Health Award

The European CanCer Organisation (ECCO) has won the prestigious 2018 European Health Award. This award honours initiatives that help tackle some of Europe’s most pressing health challenges.

The award-winning project, entitled ‘The European Cancer Patient’s Bill of Rights: A Catalyst for Change and an empowerment tool for cancer patients across Europe’ involves an equal partnership between cancer patients, healthcare professionals and cancer researchers.

Professor Mark Lawler, Vice President of the European Cancer Concord (ECC), today received the award on behalf of ECCO during the opening ceremony of the European Health Forum Gastein, the premier European Health Policy Conference and an official event of the Austrian European Council Presidency.
One of the key outputs from the research has been the development of a 70:35 Vision, 70 per cent long term survival for all cancer patients across Europe by 2035.
“Our 70:35 Vision is built upon the pillars of cross border and interdisciplinary cooperation, sharing best practice and ensuring that research and innovation gets translated for the benefit of patients,” explained Professor Peter Selby, Professor of Cancer Medicine at the University of Leeds and President of ECC. “This is a superb example of how cooperative European activities that involve sharing best practice between countries can result in top class prize-winning initiatives.”

Professor Lawler commented: “Cancer knows no borders, so it is important that we work together to develop solutions that address cancer inequalities in all parts of Europe. I am immensely proud to be accepting this award, not only on behalf of our team who have worked together over the last five years on this initiative, but also on behalf of the millions of European citizens who are living with and beyond cancer, and experiencing cancer inequalities every single day of their lives.”

Working in close partnership with European patient organisations and professional societies has been a key part of the initiative.
“Patients have been at the heart of this initiative,” said Dr Ian Banks, Chair of the ECCO Patient Advisory Committee and Vice President ECC. “Addressing cancer inequalities and ensuring equal access to precise information, to quality diagnostics and to optimum care, will lead to improved outcomes for cancer patients.”
ECCO’s President Professor Philip Poortmans said: “The success of this initiative, recognised by the 2018 European Health Award, highlights how interdisciplinary partnerships are the key to finding solutions that will improve cancer control across Europe and help enhance patients outcomes.”
Speaking at the award ceremony, Professor Lawler said: “Cooperation is the key to this initiative. We need to compete, not against each other, but against our common enemy – Cancer.”

1. The European CanCer Organisation (ECCO) is a not-for-profit federation that exists to uphold the right of all European cancer patients to the best possible treatment and care, promoting interaction between all organisations involved in cancer at European level. Through its 24 Member Societies – representing over 150 000 professionals – ECCO is the only multidisciplinary organisation that connects and responds to all stakeholders in oncology Europe-wide. It does this by creating awareness of patients’ needs and wishes, encouraging progressive thinking in cancer policy, training and education and promoting European cancer research, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and quality care through the organisation of international multidisciplinary meetings.

Further information:

The European Cancer Concord (ECC)® is an equal partnership between patients and healthcare professionals dedicated to addressing cancer inequalities in Europe.
The Members of the European Cancer Concord Executive Committee are:

  • Professor Mark Lawler, Queen’s University Belfast, UK and Vice President European Cancer Concord
  • Professor Peter Selby, University of Leeds, UK and President European Cancer Concord
  • Dr Ian Banks, Chair European Cancer Organisation (ECCO) Patient Advocate Committee, Brussels, Belgium and Vice President European Cancer Concord
  • Professor Thierry Le Chevalier, Chair, European Cancer Concord Executive Committee, Institut Gustav Roussy, Paris, France
  • Professor Francoise Meunier, Director of Special Projects, European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC)
  • Kate Law, Director, Lister Institute for Preventative Medicine, London, UK
  • Peter Kapitein, President, Inspire2Live, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • Dr Tit Albreht, Coordinator of the Joint Action iPAAC, National Institute of Public Health of Slovenia,
  • Dr Sakari Karjalainen, President of the Association of European Cancer Leagues, Helsinki, Finland
  • Kathy Oliver, Chair and Co-Director of the International Brain Tumour Alliance, London, UK
  • Dr Sarper Diler, President Myeloma Patients Europe, Istanbul, Turkey
  • Professor Carlo LaVecchia, Professor of Cancer Epidemiology, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy
  • Professor Christoph Zielinski, President of the Central European Cooperative Oncology Group, Vienna, Austria

The ECCO/ECC Forum is a standing committee of ECCO, operating under the ECCO legislative and regulatory framework and reporting to the ECCO Board of Directors.