Solange Peters: ESMO Presidential Election 2020-2021

A Vision Statement on ESMO's Future Challenges and Priorities

Current Positions

Oncology Department, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Lausanne, Switzerland


I am determined to support and broaden the ESMO community. I will consider a greater integration of professionals from different geographic, socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds to create a vibrant community that evaluates the experiences and views from a global perspective. ESMO will promote an environment where equal access to information and optimal treatment is a priority

Solange Peters

Presidential Vision

I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to participate in the development of ESMO’s current vision “across oncology, worldwide” and will be proud, if elected as the 2020-2021 President, to guide ESMO even further in its commitment to ensure that care for cancer patients knows no border.

ESMO has become the leading oncology society in Europe and increasingly worldwide, providing a professional network for our members, able to disseminate relevant information and improve cancer care across all disciplines of cancer medicine, supporting excellence for the benefit of our patients, closely collaborating with professional oncology societies globally.

As ESMO becomes a global society, it needs to foster a greater integration of professionals from different geographic, socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds, aiming to create a vibrant community that considers relevant issues from a global perspective.

I will guide the Society to be the promoter of an environment where equal access to information and optimal cancer treatment is a priority, at a time when these considerations might be weakened in several specific political and economic contexts. ESMO must become the primary platform for scientific exchange, encompassing the best science in all fields of oncology. I am determined to work to achieve these objectives with the support of our members, officers and staff.

I will support the expansion of ESMO’s educational meetings to meet the needs of jurisdictions that will most benefit from ESMO’s resources and know-how. Such an expansion of activities will be critically assessed, to positively impact cancer care without interfering with local organizations and culture.

ESMO has started integrating basic researchers into its faculty and meetings. These efforts could be gradually reinforced, in partnership with the European Association for Cancer Research (EACR) and collaborative research groups, in order to promote and support academic research as well as strengthen the information in the basic sciences that is needed for the modern management of cancer patients.

It has been a great honor for me, but also a very interesting journey, to serve ESMO for the last several years.

As ESMO President, I will be proud to dedicate my full energy to the well-being and the future of the Society and its members, as well as continue to promote effective cancer care for all patients.

Presidential Programme

Support the ESMO Community

The ESMO community should be actively involved in defining the Society’s priorities and needs. I strongly believe it must exemplify an open-minded society, allowing its members to actively engage in the same values – aiming at effective cancer care for all patients, respecting and dealing with a wide spectrum of opinions, and assuring a fair representation of diversity.

ESMO should continuously strive to learn about the needs of its members in order to adapt its activities to the distinct geographical and professional realities in their regions.

Availability of Anti-Cancer Medicines 

I will reinforce the ongoing work on describing and reporting on the incredible variety and heterogeneity of public policies and health care systems across nations and regions, in order to establish models that can be adapted to different local conditions.

In addition to workforce issues, limited access to essential cancer medicines is a major preoccupation of our profession.

With the support of the ESMO National Representatives and the national/local oncology societies, as well as through a close collaboration with the ESMO Cancer Medicines Working Group and the ESMO Public Policy Committee, ESMO should establish a permanent dialogue with European and national political institutions to define the political and legal strategies for promoting cancer care delivery to all our patients.

The gathering of real-world data in Europe and beyond will assist and support these initiatives.


Oncology education and sharing of practice guidelines represent key pillars of ESMO’s activities.

Having been deeply involved as faculty member at meetings and through assisting in the development of the ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines, I am highly appreciative of the quality of ESMO’s educational and guidelines programs.

Based on direct interactions on the occasion of various ESMO meetings, facing a growing diversity of ESMO members and their realities, I believe that ESMO should prioritize the adaptation of its activities to regional needs.

Therefore, I would propose for example to co-develop preceptorships with ESMO members in lower resource countries. Such preceptorships could then focus on curricula and guidelines adapted for local prevailing conditions. 

Academic Research

ESMO has become a primary platform for communicating scientific advances, and we need to maintain our leadership.

In particular, we need to support and promote independent academic research.

We should plan to utilize ESMO’s resources to establish targeted research fellowship programs for talented young physicians and scientists.

The CAREFOR initiative has been established between ESMO, EORTC and the EACR with a mission to improve academic clinical trials.

It has to be expanded to all the other collaborative national and international research organizations, and ESMO should serve as the platform for closer interactions and evaluation of new models for clinical research.

This will ensure that ESMO will continue to disseminate the best science, as well as identify and retain key opinion leaders in multidisciplinary cancer care. 

Young Oncologists

ESMO should be a learning organization, continuously broadening its horizons professionally.

This should start with our contribution in educating students and young doctors, bringing them to the ESMO examination, pushing for its broader recognition inside and outside of Europe, as well as defining the best curriculum in medical oncology.

ESMO must support oncologists at all stages of their career, with a continued focus on young oncologists, including the ESMO Leaders Generation Program, but also creating a more gradual involvement for young oncologists in ESMO committees and as speakers at various meetings.

Under my leadership, I will encourage the representation of all ages and genders in ESMO activities and build ESMO-promoted mentorship programs.

This is critical in building an expert diversified work-force of the future.

Current and Past Involvement with ESMO

  • ESMO 2018 Scientific Chair
  • ELCC 2016 Scientific Chair
  • Guidelines Steering Committee Member, since 2015
  • Executive Board Member, since 2014
  • Women for Oncology Task Force/Committee Chair, since 2014 and 2015 respectively
  • Press & Media Affairs Committee Chair, since 2014
  • Thoracic malignancies Faculty Member, since 2012
  • Elected Swiss National Representative, 2013
  • Clinical Practice Guidelines Editor (NSCLC, SCLC, mesothelioma, thymic malignancies), 2012-2015
  • E-Learning and CME Working Group (ECWG) Member, 2012-2014