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Improving Efficiency in Cancer Care: Education Programme 2019-2020 and Beyond

ESO (European School of Oncology) and ECCO (European Cancer Organisation) have published position papers on the topic of efficiency improvement in cancer care as well as have many other entities.
However, concrete European action to attain some of the goals has not yet emerged, while many examples exist that could pave the way towards a more patient-friendly cancer care, with less waste and more results. Therefore SPCC (Sharing Progress in Cancer Care) has decided to partner with various stakeholders to develop a plan of action.


Drive scale-up and implementation of proven concepts for reducing inefficiencies in cancer care in support of patient-centric and sustainability of healthcare systems, whilst improving outcomes.

(e.g. Proche The Programme d’Optimisation du Circuit des Chimiothérapies (PROCHE) at the Georges-Pompidou European Hospital in Paris, France improved the chemotherapy process for patients by assessing possible side effects of treatment, and adjusting treatment plans before patients arrived for their next appointment.1 This procedure shortened the length of hospital sessions, reduced drug wastage, improved patient symptoms and experience, and reduced healthcare costs. (3)

In support of a “European Beating Cancer Plan” as defined by Ursula von der Leyen, EU Commission President, in her letter of Mission to Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health: "I want you to put forward Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan to support Member States to improve cancer prevention and care. This should propose actions to strengthen our approach at every key stage of the disease: prevention, diagnosis, treatment, life as a cancer survivor and palliative care. There should be a close link with the research mission on cancer in the future Horizon Europe programme".

  1. ESO/SPCC to develop, deliver and promote a training programme focused on opportunities for reducing inefficiencies in cancer care:
    A) 2019 Phase 1: to develop a training programme, including curriculum, in collaboration with e.g. Patient, EONS, OECI, ECCO, and others, for oncologists, nurses and multi-disciplinary HCPs, around opportunities to increase efficiency of cancer care featuring examples such as Proche and for example ALL.CAN patient survey report recommendations. Details of such a curriculum will be discussed in a first Task Force meeting (see addendum 1).
    The events in 2020-2021 has been discussed during the Task Force Meeting on 18 November 2019, and will be defined more in details during the virtual meeting on 15 May 2020, but in principle three main phases will be considered:

    B) 2020 Phase 2: promote the training programme via partners across the European cancer community and policy networks, promoting how it will underpin the proposed European Cancer Plan; run a pilot training in 2020 and seek KOLs endorsement of curriculum.

    C) 2020 Phase 3: roll out of the training programme either as virtual learning course or onsite programme during key events in 2020; involve oncologists, nurses, PAGs, and policymakers.

    D) 2021 Phase 4: tailor the programme to other stakeholders e.g. allied health professional, and PAGs etc.

  2. In support of annual EC guidance to Member States assessing the efficacy of their health systems and promoting tools to find and implement greater efficiencies:
    2020: develop strategy for the scaling up and implementation of proven concepts e.g. Proche programme, as pilot in five clinics in Europe with identified partners (e.g. Karolinska, Charité, Erasmus) to collect key learnings and coordinate the effort.

    2020: calculate aggregated impact of the identified best concepts and leverage the programme across Member States with the European Commission, WHO Health Observatory, OECI and ECCO networks.

Last November 2019 a joint ESO-SPCC Task Force met in Milano to design a strategy to help different actors involved in cancer care to optimize patient journey, tackling challenges from different points of view.
As its final result, the Task Force will help structure a training programme to be promoted, rolled out and continuously implemented during a three-year period. The main aim of the project is to scale-up and implement proven concepts for reducing inefficiencies in cancer care, supporting a patient-centric vision and the sustainability of healthcare systems, whilst improving outcomes.
A position paper and an educational event will be created to be released in the second half of 2020. Before that, a virtual meeting to be held on 15 May 2020 will be organized to further work on the topic and explore the interest of different stakeholders and actors involved in the cancer care journey. The project is to design and develop a new international educational programme in oncology on the theme of “Efficiency in cancer care” that can embrace all relevant stakeholders.

Steering Committee Members

Matti Aapro, Clinique de Genolier - Sharing Progress in Cancer Care (SPCC), Genolier/Bellinzona, Switzerland
Andreas Charalambous, Cyprus University of Technology, Limassol, Cyprus
Stefan Gijssels, Digestive Cancers Europe, Brussels, Belgium
Eduardo Pisani, All.Can International, Brussels, Belgium
Pietro Presti, Sharing Progress in Cancer Care (SPCC), Turin, Italy/Bellinzona, Switzerland
Florian Scotté, Hopital Foch, Suresnes, France
Rosanna Tarricone, Bocconi University, Milan, Italy