At ECCO – the European Cancer Organisation, we take our objective to create an environment in which the oncology community network is always optimised for each patient, extremely seriously.
That is why we are committed to further facilitating interaction with and between all our members. The 17th ECCO – 38th ESMO – 32 ESTRO European Cancer Congress 2013, organised in partnership with ESSO 33, EACR, EONS and SIOPE, is providing the perfect occasion for doing so. Being held from 27 September to 1 October in Amsterdam, this unique collaboration between seven leading cancer organisations in Europe provides a really powerful message about our community’s determination towards maximising the multidisciplinary approach to achieve the best possible outcomes for cancer patients.
The ECC 2013 is creating a multi-professional oncology ‘melting pot’ for expertise, knowledge and data to be used to the best possible advantage. ECCO’s Founding Members are once again uniting with us to achieve the best for cancer patients by focusing on issues of joint concern to the wider oncology community and tackling them together.
Setting standards for the future through scientific excellence
In today’s global economies, consolidating expertise and resources across borders and speeding up the translation of discoveries into applications that impact healthcare delivery is essential. Focus has been placed on enhancing the scientific excellence of the programme for the ECC 2013 to ensure it plays a pivotal role in facilitating those processes.
It is clear that our strategy is paying off – we have received 3176 abstracts for the ECC 2013, an astonishing 38% increase in comparison to the congress in 2011, at Stockholm. With such record submissions, it is clear that the Congress will play a pivotal role in establishing standards for the future in Europe, and beyond.
This demonstrates the power of the partnership ECCO has formed with its Founding Members. I am also extremely grateful to the Executive Scientific Committee and especially our multi-professional Track Chairs, for producing such an impressive programme.
Taking networking to the next level
There is no doubt that the ECC 2013 will provide the ideal surroundings for all disciplines to leverage knowledge, benefit from CMEs and build awareness about oncology, and to work in partnership to ensure that every cancer patient ultimately receives the best research, treatment and care.
Communicating with other experts and authorities and building lasting relationships is a concern for all professionals in oncology. That is why good networks are needed in Europe so that the right questions can be asked and answers which truly benefit cancer patients can be sought. Only then can we say we are fully addressing the many challenges facing Europe in the fight against cancer.
Attending congresses and meetings remains an important key opportunity for oncology professionals for networking and ensuring that they are up-to-date on the latest data and techniques, and means of research, treatment and care. However, the widespread availability of social media platforms is changing the application of the term ‘networking’ in new ways. This means that the way that people interact is also changing and the networking that occurs at biennial or annual meetings can now continue on a daily basis.
We at ECCO believe that the true value of social media for the oncology community is in fostering, preserving and strengthening relationships. To ensure that ECCO is truly optimising networking capabilities for its members, we are going to use social media platforms to support and enhance the impact of our Congress. With the increased accessibility of social media globally, our intent is to enable the use of online interaction to foster offline action. We want to transform one-to-one communication into a one-to-many setup to create connections that are less likely to happen offline.
For ECCO, it is about building community through enabling two-way dialogue. Social media creates a real-time, very information-rich discussion with and between people and is now being used as a tool to foster serious discussion on healthcare issues.
Social media at the Congress will provide an ideal platform for delegates to share ideas, experiences and opinions, and to let each other know what sessions are must-attends! Use of Twitter was so popular at the 2011 Stockholm Congress, that ECCO is raising the bar for the European Cancer Congress 2013, in Amsterdam (27 September to 1 October) by providing even more hashtags for specific discussions and more screens for delegates to keep abreast of online discourse. Watch out for more detailed information in the latest edition of our special ECC 2013 newsletter, the Congress Update Service.
In the future, ECCO hopes that the platforms it is building will help to improve interdisciplinary collaboration to ensure better patient outcomes, as oncology professionals can conveniently build their knowledge in real time and facilitating faster adoption of best clinical practices.
Cornelis van de Velde