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Embracing a year of strong collaboration and steady progress


March 2024

Dear ESMO members,

Since the start of the new year, ESMO has been pressing on with existing activities and new initiatives to fulfil its commitment to advancing oncology, improving the lives of those affected by cancer, and supporting the oncologists who make it their mission to help them. The Society is never short of fresh ideas to meet the changing needs of the community, and in the coming months will once again make a wealth of resources available to support the clinical practice and professional growth of its members: from expanded educational programmes, to opportunities for participation in ESMO activities and collaboration in its research efforts.

An appointment not to be missed, the ESMO presidential elections taking place this year will be an important occasion for members to contribute to the life of the Society: we will be called to vote for our 2027-2028 President.

To ensure that our collective voice is also heard on the public stage, by those who will shape EU health and cancer policy in the coming years, ESMO recently published its policy Manifesto in preparation for the June elections to the European Parliament. Drawing on our professional and scientific expertise, it provides an evidence-based synthesis of what the oncology community needs from the European institutions going forward to support action against cancer – within the EU, and globally where possible. 

Following up without delay on troubling findings from previous ESMO research, a new survey is currently being developed to investigate the occurrence and extent of workplace harassment in the field of oncology. The results will not only serve to increase our awareness, but also provide the basis for reflections on what is needed at various levels to have safer working environments for all professionals. As ESMO members, your participation in this important survey will be requested during the month of April. 

ESMO’s educational events and meetings are some of the most eagerly awaited fixtures in oncologists’ annual calendar. The ESMO Targeted Anticancer Therapies (TAT) Congress, the home of phase I research in oncology, marked a particularly successful start to the 2024 congresses programme. Held for the first time in an evolved format including special sessions with representatives from the pharmaceutical and diagnostics industry, it allowed the contribution and participation of many actors who work in the area of early clinical research. The enriched dialogue that resulted from the confrontation of different perspectives and viewpoints is something on which ESMO would like to keep building in the future. Before the season’s uncontested peak, the ESMO Congress 2024, one of many highlights will certainly be the first ESMO Gastrointestinal Cancers Congress in Germany. At a time when various new treatment options are becoming available to patients with GI cancers, the latest, most meaningful data will be presented and contribute to devising a roadmap for implementing innovation in clinical practice in this disease area.

Innovation has been and continues to be central to progress in oncology, and it remains at the heart of ESMO’s own approach to serving the community. Just as the Society improves and expands its events offering year after year, its dedication to providing oncologists with the resources to optimise their decision-making in the best interest of patients also drives the continuing development of the ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines, including the novel formats and tools designed to turn them into easy companions for daily use. 

There is much to look forward to, but also a lot of work still to be done to ensure ESMO lives up to its promises in 2024. As we forge ahead, I am grateful that our Society can rely on the support and advice provided by the ESMO Council, which saw several new members assume their mandate this year. I want to thank them warmly for their voluntary engagement and invaluable contributions.

I also count on you, dear members, to help make this a year of strong collaboration, steady progress, and shared success. 

Yours sincerely,

Andrés Cervantes
ESMO President

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