LUGANO-MUNICH, 16 October 2018 - Supportive and palliative care should be an integral part of cancer treatment, the European Society for Medical Oncology claimed in its position paper (1) published in 2017. To maintain the spotlight on this very important but sometimes neglected topic, on Friday, 19 October, a special session (2) at the ESMO 2018 Congress in Munich, Germany (19-23 October) will be dedicated to this subject, to be followed on Sunday by the formal recognition of 20 newly-accredited Designated Centres of Integrated Oncology and Palliative Care (3) which join the overall 216 accredited centres worldwide. For the first time this year, institutions from Japan, Denmark, Estonia and Qatar feature among the laureates.
ESMO 2018 special session on supportive and palliative care
ESMO has a long-term commitment to excellence in all aspects of oncological care, and advocates strongly for the integration of supportive and palliative care into routine cancer treatment. The session titled "Best integration of supportive and palliative care in the continuum of care" will offer perspectives from both Europe and North America, as well as insights from the ESMO position paper.
Dr. Karin Jordan, author of the ESMO paper and co-chair of the session, says: "Over the last decade, we have recognised that while survival and disease-free survival are both fundamental factors, overall quality of life is also crucial for patients. At any stage of the cancer pathway, physical, psychological, social, existential and spiritual support and rehabilitation, are often needed."
To ensure effective integration of supportive and palliative care measures with mainstream treatment, the ESMO paper emphasises the importance of multidisciplinary clinical teams: "Patient-centred care is about having the correct competence available in the right place, at the right time," says Jordan.
The session will additionally include a presentation by Stein Kaasa of highlights from the Integration of oncology and palliative care: a Lancet Oncology Commission (4). The article, authored by Stein Kaasa and colleagues, will be published online 19 October 2018.
Japan, Estonia, Denmark and Qatar join the global community of ESMO Designated Centres
Bringing together institutions that are ahead of the game in this regard, ESMO's "Designated Centres of Integrated Oncology and Palliative Care" accreditation programme gives special recognition to cancer centres that achieve a high level of integration of palliative care with core oncology services.
Coming through a rigourous application and selection process, the 20 centres to obtain the title in 2018 reflect the global reach of this ESMO initiative. Recognised alongside 11 European institutions including the first from Denmark and Estonia, almost half of this year's new Designated Centres are from different continents. They include hospitals and specialised oncology units in India, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and - for the first time - Japan and Qatar.
In addition to this years 20 new centers, 54 have achieved reaccrediation, with some for the fourth and third time.
The 20 newcomers to the programme (5) will be formally awarded with their certification at the end of a dedicated session, "Improving research, education and clinical practice in oncology and palliative care", (6) to take place on day three of ESMO 2018, chaired by Stein Kaasa, ESMO Designated Centres Working Group, Chair.
In addition to recognising the new laureates, the session will open a community dialogue with three presentations and a panel discussion on how to optimise palliative care services and education for oncology professionals in this field.
1 ESMO position paper on supportive and palliative care, 2017. K. Jordan et al. Annals of Oncology 29, 2018. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdx757
2 The special session, "Best integration of supportive and palliative care in the continuum of care", will take place on Friday, 19 October 2018, 16:00-17:30 in Hall 3 - room 22
3 ESMO Designated Centres of Integrated Oncology and Palliative Care https:/
4 Kaasa S, Loge JH, Aapro M, et al. Integration of oncology and palliative care: a Lancet Oncology Commission. Lancet Oncol 2018; published online Oct 19 http://dx.
5 List of 2018 ESMO Designated Centres of Integrated Oncology and Palliative Care: https:/
6 The special session, "Improving research, education and clinical practice in oncology and palliative care - 5th ESMO Designated Centres Community Session and Awards", will take place on Sunday, 21 October 2018, 16:30-18:30 in ICM - room 14a.
About the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO)
ESMO is the leading professional organisation for medical oncology. With 18,000 members representing oncology professionals from over 150 countries worldwide, ESMO is the society of reference for oncology education and information. ESMO is committed to offer the best care to people with cancer, through fostering integrated cancer care, supporting oncologists in their professional development, and advocating for sustainable cancer care worldwide. Visit http://www.