News Release

It is time for a concerted European approach to defeat cancer

Peer-Reviewed Publication

European Society for Medical Oncology

LUGANO, 31 October 2017. ESMO President, Fortunato Ciardiello, has contributed an editorial on the priorities for future cancer research, to The Lancet Oncology (1) with Josep Tabernero, ESMO President-Elect as co-author. The review refers to the publication on Future Cancer Research Priorities in the USA (2) and to the American Cancer Moonshot Task Force (3), and highlights the urgent need for a similar integrated approach within the EU.

"Cancer is a major global health problem. The US has managed to establish a clear and coordinated roadmap to win the 'war against cancer'. The EU should follow suit and establish its own integrated and comprehensive cancer research programme, with necessary, specific and achievable targets," said Ciardiello. "As well as research, we need to ensure that innovation is translated quickly and in a sustainable manner to the bedside."

ESMO is actively engaged with the WHO (4) and in the European policy arena to advocate for equal access to cancer prevention, timely diagnosis and effective treatment across Europe and around the world (5). "These principles are stated in ESMO's 2020 Vision (6), our roadmap for integrating cancer research, diagnosis and treatment, and for developing models of sustainable cancer care in a rapidly changing landscape," explained Ciardiello.

Tabernero added: "Scientific knowledge has made huge steps in terms of diagnosis and treatment, but this progress is not yet available to all cancer patients. Access is now a priority and a clear strategy is needed, guiding coordinated efforts, to ensure that no patient is left behind."

"Health is a fundamental human right," asserted Ciardiello. "ESMO has already denounced the disparities that exist within Europe - and across the globe - in access to quality cancer care. Making effective cancer treatment available to patients will require financial and organisational resources, but, above all, it involves cooperation between stakeholders including scientific organisations such as ESMO, public and private institutions, as well as local and international organisations. The time for a concerted approach to defeat cancer is now."


Notes to Editors

Video message from the ESMO President, Fortunato Ciardiello:


(1) Ciardiello F, & Tabernero, J. The Cancer Moonshot from a European perspective. The Lancet Oncology Commission, Lancet Oncol 2017; 18: e653-706. Full report available online:

(2) Jaffee EM, Dang CV, Agus DB, et al. Future cancer research priorities in the USA: a Lancet Oncology Commission. Lancet Oncol 2017; 18: e653-706.

(3) National Cancer Institute. Cancer Moonshot. Blue Ribbon Panel Report 2016. Sept 7, 2016.

(4) 2017 WHO Cancer Resolution:

(5) ESMO Public Policy statements:

(6) ESMO 2020 Vision:

About the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO)

ESMO is the leading professional organisation for medical oncology. With 17,000 members representing oncology professionals from 150 countries worldwide, ESMO is the society of reference for oncology education and information, committed to supporting our members to develop and advance in a fast-evolving professional environment.

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