Oncologists Initiate Upgrade of European Cancer Care

David Kerr, CBE, MD, DSc, FRCP, FMedSci; Cornelis J.H. van de Velde, MD, PhD


October 11, 2013

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David Kerr, CBE, MD, DSc, FRCP, FMedSci: Hello. I am David Kerr, Professor of Medical Oncology at the University of Oxford and past President of the European Society for Medical Oncology. I am delighted to welcome you to our European Cancer Congress (ECC) and even more delighted to welcome a great friend and colleague, Professor Cornelis van de Velde. He is Professor and Chief of the Department of Surgery at Leiden University in The Netherlands, but perhaps even more important, he is President of the European CanCer Organisation (ECCO) and therefore Chair of this meeting. It's great to see you.

Cornelis J.H. van de Velde, MD, PhD: Thank you.

ECC: Multidisciplinary Melting Pot

Dr. Kerr: This is a rather special meeting. You and I are in different tribes, medical oncology and surgical oncology. Do you think that there are real advantages of having a truly multidisciplinary meeting where we bring radiation, medical, and surgical oncology together?

Dr. van de Velde: Absolutely. The vast improvements that have made in patient care have taken place through the organization of multidisciplinary team meetings, which is mandatory, more or less by law, in many European member states. There, you have the interaction of the diagnostic and the treating specialties making the plan for the individual patient, and this will expand further in the coming years when more about molecular biology is known and we incorporate that [approach] into these multidisciplinary team meetings. The ECCO organization, with its 6 founding member societies (European Society for Medical Oncology, European Society for Radiotherapy & Oncology, European Society of Surgical Oncology, European Association for Cancer Research, European Oncology Nursing Society, and European Society of Paediatric Oncology), is all about multidisciplinarity and interaction, and we have an additional 24 member organizations of different kinds that all interact with us. This ECC, with almost 18,000 participants, is a melting pot of these interactions.

Dr. Kerr: The use of the expression "melting pot" works wonderfully well for Amsterdam, given the fact that it is a cultural melting pot, but the reason for us coming together for this convention is to share wisdom around research. As the president, with responsibility for the scientific program, what are the highlights of this meeting?


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