Cancer researchers, practitioners and patients set to benefit
The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) and the European CanCer Organisation (ECCO) have united to host a co-branded biennial multidisciplinary partnership meeting that will provide the best and most up to date scientific data for everyone working in cancer whilst also strengthening initiatives aimed at providing all patients with equal access to high-quality cancer care.
The ECCO Congress, which takes place every two years, will become a joint ECCO-ESMO congress, and its scientific committee will be chaired both by ECCO and ESMO. The first congress will be 20-24 September 2009 in Berlin, with subsequent joint congresses being held biennially in the ‘uneven-numbered' years.
In the intervening ‘even-numbered' years between the ECCO-ESMO congresses, ESMO will continue to hold its own ESMO Congress. In 2008, the 33rd ESMO Congress will take place as planned, 12-16 September, in Stockholm, Sweden.
In addition, ESMO's Board of Directors unanimously voted on 4 April to become a founding member of the new ECCO organisation, composed of European cancer societies, and as a result, ESMO will have a seat on the ECCO Board of Directors. The ECCO Board unanimously accepted the proposal two weeks ago.
ECCO President, Professor Alexander M.M. Eggermont, said he was delighted: "ESMO and ECCO have been discussing this for some time now, and we firmly believe that joining forces in this way will benefit of all our member organisations, European cancer professionals and, most importantly, cancer patients."
"With so much happening in Europe affecting advances in oncology, we need to work together when interacting with European policymakers and industry, so that they take notice, understand and act on our messages. ECCO's mission is to uphold the right of all cancer patients to the best possible treatment and care and to promote interaction between all organisations involved in cancer research, education, treatment and care at the European level. Together with ESMO, I am confident that we will be able to achieve this goal."
ESMO President, Professor José Baselga agreed, adding: "This uniting of the landscape of European oncology is the result of an agreement on common goals combined with a strong spirit of goodwill and collaboration on all sides. In becoming a founding member of ECCO, we are convinced we will strengthen our ability to represent European oncologists and patients. ESMO is a community of professionals who share the common goal of providing the best possible care for all cancer patients - a mission which is in total harmony with ECCO's objectives."
"This is a win-win situation for ESMO, ECCO and all of our patients. I am looking forward to liaising closely with Professor Eggermont, not only in supporting medical oncology and cancer treatment by multidisciplinary teams, but also in working towards enhancing European conferences as attractive settings to present research done in Europe and worldwide. Looking ahead, we will combine our efforts to make the 2009 ECCO 15 - 34th ESMO Congress the best and biggest European cancer congress yet."