Oops, you're using an old version of your browser so some of the features on this page may not be displaying properly.

MINIMAL Requirements: Google Chrome 24+Mozilla Firefox 20+Internet Explorer 11Opera 15–18Apple Safari 7SeaMonkey 2.15-2.23

CORONAVIRUS: Update from ESMO

ESMO Congress 2021: an enhanced virtual experience

10 Mar 2021

One year on from the outbreak of COVID-19 becoming a global pandemic, countries around the world are still struggling to contain the virus and its multiple variants, to access the vaccines and implement large-scale immunization campaigns, and to mitigate the far-reaching social, economic and political consequences of the health crisis.

Thanks to the introduction of virtual meetings, ESMO was able to continue supporting the pace of research and offer valuable educational opportunities to oncology professionals in 2020, making it another year of progress in cancer research and care.

We appreciate that after so many months of social distancing, our community has come to suffer from virtual meeting fatigue. We are all eager to resume in-person events that facilitate personal contact and networking. However, under the present conditions and in keeping with our collective responsibility to help contain the virus and protect cancer patients, oncology professionals as well as the health systems that support them, the ESMO Congress 2021 will have to proceed in a virtual format once more.

A virtual format, but an enhanced virtual experience. We have listened to our members and all the professionals who attended the ESMO Congress last year: informed by the needs expressed and the lessons learned, ESMO 2021 will focus on offering more interactivity across the breadth of its programme. There will be more opportunities to engage with key opinion leaders, possibilities to contribute to customising the content of certain sessions, chances to debate with investigators, and much more.

We will make use of many tools available to allow the oncology community to grow closer together, even if it is from a distance. Live chats, longer Q&A time, highlights and controversies, discussion groups and several other novel elements will complement and augment the usual high-quality scientific programme that everybody knows to expect from the ESMO Congress.

Abstract submission is open, and the Scientific Committee is eager to receive studies that will form the backbone of discussions during the five days of the congress (17-21 September). Further details, including registration, will be published on the congress web pages as they become available.

The possibility we hoped for last year, that we would eventually meet again in Paris in 2021, may be out of reach for now – but once again we will rally around the latest scientific data to keep cancer research and treatment moving forward. And in doing so we can start looking forward to the next opportunity to reclaim what we have been missing: Paris will be the host to the ESMO Congress, and hopefully many of you, in 2022.

The global coronavirus pandemic remains an active threat to our societies, healthcare systems and to all of us as individuals. Vaccination campaigns, though underway, require time to implement and scale up worldwide. Conscious of our collective responsibility to help contain the virus and keep the public health situation under control as the Society continues to deliver on its mission of educating and advocating for high-quality cancer care, ESMO has therefore decided to maintain all events scheduled until July 2021 in virtual format.

Throughout this time, we will monitor the situation closely and study all options that could put us on a path towards a new state of normality in the second half of this year. Knowing that the virus will be with us for many more months, we will approach the organisation of any future in-person meeting with a coordinated strategy to ensure everybody’s safety, going to any feasible length to guarantee the physical distance that has proven crucial to hindering the spread of COVID-19. In this context, the virtual component will once again be integral to offering an optimal congress experience to oncology professionals and other stakeholders in our field of medicine.

Just as we succeeded, together, in making 2020 count as a year of progress in oncology, we will continue to support the pace of research this year and expand our educational offering across a variety of disease settings. Among other additions to the event calendar, the first, virtual edition of the annual ESMO Gynaecological Cancers Congress will kick off on 25-26 June.
From the numerous disease and therapy-specific meetings to the appreciated flagship ESMO Congress, through summits, preceptorships and advanced courses targeting the needs of oncologists all over the world at every stage of their career, the Society will keep its promise to offer educational programmes throughout 2021 and beyond. As well as enjoying preferential conditions to access virtual events, ESMO members will be able to tap into related resources on demand, long after the meetings have passed.
We appreciate that after 12 months of social distancing, lockdowns and travel restrictions, virtual meeting fatigue has become widespread in our community, which has always relied on personal contact and networking. Through all the uncertainty and upheaval, ESMO has never stopped supporting those who care about cancer – and we continue to stand behind you now, committed to developing a new, more effective way of working and disseminating knowledge that better meets your professional needs.

As the Coronavirus pandemic has surged again in many areas of the world, the ESMO Immuno-Oncology Congress (9-12 December) will take place as a virtual event. This decision will allow a wider participation while protecting everyone involved, including Faculty, delegates and staff. 

From the basics of immunotherapies to the latest research results; from understanding different treatment options to the management of toxicities and interpretation of new data, the ESMO Immuno-Oncology Virtual Congress will cater to the diverse needs of oncology stakeholders with an interest in this topical field of cancer treatment. The Scientific Committee will be working on redesigning the programme, to meet both the requirements and the expectations typical of the virtual environment, preserving the fundamental characteristics of being a highly regarded education opportunity.

Everyone who has already registered for the in-person congress will be contacted soon.

Additional information will be published progressively on the ESMO website.

Following a thorough review of our activities in light of the non-resolved Coronavirus pandemic, ESMO has today decided that ESMO 2020 will take place as a wholly virtual meeting.

The decision will ensure that ESMO is able to play its part in flattening the COVID-19 curve and protect the health, safety and wellbeing of everyone who would have attended the Congress, while at the same time contributing to maintain the pace of research, in the best interests of cancer patients worldwide.

ESMO remains committed to maintaining ESMO 2020 as the most influential platform to present the latest oncology science, as confirmed by the encouraging number of submitted abstracts. The scientific programme will also include a dedicated COVID-19 and cancer research track with the objective of improving the treatment of cancer patients with, or in relation to, COVID-19. Learning opportunities with the top global leaders in cancer research will also be guaranteed. Currently the Scientific Committee is preparing a fully featured congress programme that will take into due consideration the specificities of the virtual environment, but still fully responding to the needs of those seeking a fruitful learning and networking opportunity.

All the people who had already registered for the in-person congress will be contacted soon regarding reimbursement and new registration to the virtual meeting.

The ESMO Congress is widely regarded as THE European meeting of the medical oncology community and this year will be no exception.

Additional information will be published progressively on the ESMO website.

At ESMO we believe we have a collective responsibility to help flatten the COVID-19 curve and do all we can to protect cancer patients, oncology professionals and staff.

We also believe we have a duty to maintain the pace of cancer research in order to deliver new treatment options for patients.

ESMO is committed to maintaining ESMO 2020 as the most important and prestigious platform to present and learn about the latest oncology science. The ESMO Congress is widely regarded as THE European meeting of the medical oncology community and this year will be no exception.
ESMO 2020 is to take place in the last quarter of the year and current plans are to go ahead as originally scheduled.

However, in light of the continuous Covid-19 developments, we are assessing all the options available to us.

In the interim, ESMO continues to monitor the situation. The next update is due early June.

Thank you for your understanding.

The abstract submission deadline for ESMO Congress 2020 has been extended by two weeks, from 6 to 20 May. We hope this will help to balance the inevitable day-to-day challenges doctors and researchers are currently facing. ESMO Congress 2020 will also include a dedicated COVID-19 and cancer research track, with the objective to gather meaningful data from across countries and diseases, to help improve the treatment of cancer patients with, or in relation to, COVID-19.

Due to the current situation with the Covid-19 infection, it is not possible to proceed with the ESMO Breast Cancer Congress in its original format.

At ESMO we believe it is our collective responsibility to contribute to flatten the curve, as per the WHO recommendations, but also that it is vital not to stop research and education, to keep to the promise that every cancer patient deserves the best possible care.

We are therefore pleased to announce that an ESMO event on breast cancer will actually happen, in a brand new format, as ESMO Breast Cancer Virtual Meeting, 23-24 May 2020.

  • All abstracts that were accepted for presentation will remain in the ESMO Breast Cancer Virtual Meeting programme, unless ESMO is notified to the contrary. The ESMO Scientific Programmes Team will be reaching out to abstract submitters in the coming days with details.
  • Participation in the ESMO Breast Cancer Virtual Meeting is free of charge, but it will require registration, for organisational reasons. Delegates who had already paid their fee will be contacted by the ESMO Registration Unit to coordinate their reimbursement.

Additional information will be published progressively on the ESMO Breast Cancer Virtual Meeting page on the ESMO website.

In due consideration of the latest information on the Coronavirus outbreak, ESMO and IASLC have made the unavoidable decision to cancel the European Lung Cancer Congress 2020, due to take place 15-18 April in Geneva, Switzerland.

This decision was based on critical elements such as the complete ban by the Swiss Federal Authorities on events of any size, on top of travel limitations from and to most countries, and, importantly, healthcare professionals forced to work extraordinary shifts to care for patients. This decision also underlines our own commitment and contribution to contain and mitigate the spread of the infection, as per the WHO recommendations. 

We are conscious of all the work done by many preparing for this congress, we share everyone’s disappointment and apologise for the inconvenience this will cause.  

Delegates will be contacted by the ESMO office over the next few days regarding their registrations. 

ESMO and IASLC, together with other ELCC partner organisations ESTRO, ESTS and ETOP, represent a vast community of medical professionals, many of whom certainly in the trenches to assist and support cancer patients in connection with the Covid-19 infection. Our thoughts and sympathy go out to all of them, their families and patients who have been impacted by the disease. 

The safety and security of all participants to and staff at ESMO events is of utmost importance to us.  

We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates regarding future ESMO events and activities.

In due consideration of the Coronavirus situation evolving rapidly and dramatically across the globe, ESMO is closely monitoring the announcements  and  legal frameworks  where events are to be held, to make sure that any decision will abide by such rules, for the safety of all involved.

Where and when official information made available supports continuation, ESMO will confirm events as planned. However, the level of uncertainty is such that it is impossible for the time being to provide definitive information.  

Messages from other organisations confirm the difficulties of these uncertain times. ESMO, like others, acknowledges the high value for doctors and healthcare professionals to come together, to share the latest research, learn from experts, and network, but right now we must all be responsible and make efforts  to contain and mitigate the spread of the infection, as per the WHO recommendations.   

ESMO represents a strong community of more than 25,000 oncology professionals, many of these certainly in the trenches to assist and support cancer patients, a particularly frail population with respect to the Covid-19 infection. Our thoughts and sympathy go out to them, their families and all  patients who have been impacted by the disease.  

Further information will be published as soon as possible.

At present ESMO is not planning to cancel or postpone scheduled meetings. Please visit the webpage of each individual meeting you are interested in and check the homepage for regular updates.  

ESMO is constantly checking the measures and directives released by those countries where meetings are planned. Any future decision will abide by those regulations.  

To facilitate access to educational material for those who should be prevented from travelling, cannot leave their countries or prefer not to take particular risks, ESMO will provide live and/or recorded webcasts from events via esmo.org.  

For the safety of attendees, according to information and guidance provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), ESMO is actively taking all the recommended measures to offer a safe environment at meetings, including temperature control stations at the entrance of the congress venue, hand sanitizers available for attendees, medical staff onsite to assist participants. 

We also recommend anyone planning to attend to follow the WHO recommendations for protecting themselves and others from the infection. We feel it is our responsibility to remind all when making travel decisions that it would be prudent to consider the importance of your own health and the well-being of others.  
This is especially valid if you are a medical professional seeing patients regularly, feeling unwell with fever or respiratory symptoms, coming from a high-risk area or been in or near any of the hot zones in the previous days. 

We feel very close to those colleagues who have been affected, directly or indirectly, by the impact of new Coronavirus, and are supportive of all possible measures for them to continue to benefit from ESMO's educational opportunities.   

ESMO will continue to closely monitor the situation and will issue regular updates.

In view of the spread of Coronavirus infections across Europe and now increasingly in France, ESMO has made the difficult but necessary decision not to proceed with the TAT Congress, due to take place 2-4 March in Paris. 

In due consideration of the exceptional circumstances and increasing concerns about the prevalence of the virus on an international scale, we feel it is our collective responsibility to minimise the risk of exportation or importation of the disease. We feel responsible towards individuals, with direct or indirect concerns, and our decision not to hold the event will help reduce the potential risks everyone would be exposed to by travelling to, and attending, the meeting. 

Our decision also reflects the appreciation towards medical professionals and colleagues, particularly those in the most affected areas, for the unusual and remarkable work they are doing in addressing this emergency situation, and who are currently subject to more stringent travel limitations in the best interest of their patients.  

ESMO will reimburse paid registration fees in full. Individual registered people will be contacted and provided relevant instructions in due time.  

The safety and security of all participants to and staff at ESMO events is of utmost importance to us. 

We feel very close to colleagues who have been affected, directly or indirectly, by the Coronavirus, and wish to express our sincere sympathy to them, their families and their patients.  

We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates regarding future ESMO events and activities.

ESMO is presently continuing to hold scheduled meetings, unless otherwise indicated. Please check the webpage of each individual meeting you are interested in.

To facilitate access to those who are prevented from travelling, cannot leave their countries or prefer not to take particular risks, ESMO will provide live and/or recorded webcasts from events via esmo.org.

To those who have already registered and are still able to attend, we would like to remind you that according to information and guidance provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), we are actively taking all the recommended measures for our meetings, including having hand sanitizers available for attendees and medical staff available onsite. 

We encourage attendees to regularly check the information made available through the WHO website, as well as review their own country's travel advice.   

We also recommend anyone planning to attend to follow the WHO recommendations for protecting themselves and others from the infection.  

We feel very close to those colleagues who have been affected, directly or indirectly, by the impact of new Coronavirus, and are supportive of all possible measures for them to continue to benefit from ESMO's educational opportunities.  

ESMO will continue to closely monitor the situation and will issue regular updates.

This site uses cookies. Some of these cookies are essential, while others help us improve your experience by providing insights into how the site is being used.

For more detailed information on the cookies we use, please check our Privacy Policy.

Customise settings