The European CanCer Organisation (ECCO) held its first European Cancer Summit in Vienna, Austria, from 7–9 September 2018. The summit, ‘From Science to Real-life Oncology’, attracted over 370 participants from across the globe. The aim of the event was connecting science with real life through policy evolution. A broad range of stakeholders attended the event including representatives of ECCO Member Societies, healthcare professionals, pharmaceutical company representatives, patient organisations including patient advocates, commercial providers to the healthcare sector, EU and national/regional government officials as well as academic researchers and regulatory professionals. The summit provided the opportunity to discuss some challenging issues including a European agenda on cancer, the use of big data and putting a price on cancer medicines. One of the objectives of the summit was to gather stakeholder decisions on resolutions looking at efficiency in cancer care, integration of services and quality. The result was a highly interactive well-attended meeting which permitted networking opportunities across stakeholder groups and giving direction to European cancer care.