Cancer knows no boundaries. It has, or will, affect us all, directly or indirectly, during our lifetime. In the face of this disease and its consequences, World Cancer Day was organized to raise awareness of the disease and press governments and individuals across the world to take action.
Wednesday, 4 February 2016 marks World Cancer Day 2016, and on this day the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), with its long history of improving treatments for patients with cancer, joins the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), its members, partners, supporters and the entire world in the fight against the global cancer epidemic and promoting cancer awareness.
Tremendous progress has been made in the last 50 years with significant increases in survival. The EORTC has contributed over the years to such progress, for example establishing existing standards of care for brain tumors and sarcomas. EORTC continues its mission by adding specific lead programs to its traditional portofolio of clinical studies. New research platforms such as SPECTA, offers unique pan European molecular screening to foster progress in the understanding of the biology and precision medicine. In addition, SURCARE structures an international quality assurance effort in surgery completing the multidisciplinary quality assurance projects that EORTC runs permanently. Outcome research and survivorship have become key endeavors to ensure long term quality of life and societal challenges beyond the disease.
The EORTC is committed to improving treatments for patients with cancer and improving the quality of life for cancer patients and also, importantly, cancer survivors. In this spirit, the EORTC has organized the following key events:
- 2ndEORTC Cancer Survivorship Summit, 31 March – 1 April 2016 in Brussels, because we need to address not just problems such as late toxicity and secondary tumors, generally viewed as the domain of medical professionals, but also the wide variety of societally significant issues related to jobs, life insurance, mortgages, etc.
- Innovation and Biomarkers in Cancer Drug Development, IBCD, a first of its kind joint meeting by the EORTC, along with the US National Cancer Institute, the European Medicines Agency, and the American Association for Cancer Research on 8-9 September 2016 at the Square Brussels Meeting Centre. IBCD will shine a spotlight on multi-stakeholder approaches to cancer drug development with new cancer biomarkers in a scientific program which will include input from regulators, industry, and academia.
- 28th EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics, 29 November – 2 December 2016 in Munich, Germany. Hosted by the EORTC, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the 2016 Symposium will bring together around 2000 academics, scientists and pharmaceutical industry representatives from across the globe to discuss innovations in drug development, target selection and the impact of new discoveries in molecular biology.
These EORTC events are essential in forging the required partnerships to bring about improvements for all of us, those affected by the impact of cancer. Cancer can have a serious impact on a person’s emotional, physical and mental state and cancer survivors are at risk of diminished quality of life for many years following their diagnosis. The EORTC is committed not just to improving treatments, but also to addressing the myriad problems facing cancer patients and cancer survivors in their daily lives.