Stockholm declaration

7 Apr 2008
Stockholm declaration to create world-class platform for cancer research

The European Institute of Oncology, founders of ecancermedicalscience, have signed up an agreement which aims to get major cancer centres across Europe working together, creating a platform for translational research. It further aims to integrate all aspects of the research process to speed up the implementation into clinical practice of new treatments and technologies.

The declaration followed a meeting in November where the results of the Eurocanplus project were discussed by representatives from major cancer centres across Europe. Eurocanplus identified the main problem with European cancer research to be fragmentation in research, funding, and regulation.

It suggested that the situation is both a cause and a consequence of insufficient integration between basic and clinical sciences in the research process, preventing Europe from accumulating the critical mass necessary to carry out large clinical and translational trials that turn basic science advances into clinical innovations.

The Stockholm Declaration focuses its attention on these comprehensive cancer centres (CCCs), encouraging them to work together in a more formal way than they have so far.

It is set to bring all signatories together towards the creation of a collaborative platform comprising leading CCCs and basic/preclinical research centres in Europe. It is suggested that such a platform of centre's is the only possible way to reach the critical mass and sustainability that is necessary to innovate
and deliver in all areas of cancer research.

The platform will have the following objectives:

• Define and coordinate specific areas for research
• Foster global collaboration and healthy competition.
• Harmonise and share infrastructures and competencies.
• Optimise knowledge sharing and agree on quality criteria
   for all centres.
• Improve training and mobility of researchers.
• Attract young research investigators from all over the world and retain talent   in Europe.
• Provide the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries with strategic academic partnerships with long-term R&D objectives.
• To reach out to less developed areas.
• To become the flagship for cancer research in Europe.
• To speak for translational cancer research with a single
  voice at the European level.

Interviewed in Molecular Oncology Prof. Ulrik Ringborg, Director of Cancer Center Karolinska, and original signatory said: "In our discussions about the Eurocanplus findings, which led up to the Stockholm declaration, we concluded that there was too little communication between basic research centres and comprehensive cancer centres. So we proposed that Europe should create a research platform that formed a link between basic research centres and their clinical counterparts, while also linking together the comprehensive cancer centres. These associations would provide cancer centres with important new biological information and, if the centres work together, it will be possible to coordinate research that answers important patient questions. Through this process of cooperation, the network will also have the dual function of supporting harmonisation of infrastructure, which in turn would facilitate further collaboration."