The European Cancer Summit 2023 took place on November 15th and 16th at Brussels. the summit brings together experts from cancer community from Europe and beyond to discuss latest updates in cancer care from sustainable patient-centred policies, advocacy to research. The theme for this year’s summit was “Accelerating Momentum: A manifesto to 2030 “, highlighting the impatience of EU’s Beating Cancer Plan as an opportunity of a lifetime to improve cancer care across Europe to highest possible standards. It also spotlights the transformative initiatives that have been already implemented to better care for cancer patients and survivors.  However, it strives European Cancer Community to do much more and much more quickly to harness optimum payoffs in cancer arena.

At this year’s Summit, CANCERLESS project was broadly engaged in various domains ranging from, research highlights, advocacy, policy, and leadership and this year our colleague from FEANTSA, Irfan Lone, represented the consortium at this event. Due to its unique yet significant applications, especially addressing vulnerable groups in cancer, the project received overwhelming support and response from European and Global cancer community. In this report we are pleased to share some highlights from the summit.

  1. The CANCERLESS project was showcased in special EU Projects Area: Community Central throughout the summit along with other relevant EU projects. This showcase attracted many attendees, delegates, and stakeholders into fruitful discussions on our work and vision on improving cancer care among vulnerable populations. The abstract is also published in journal of cancer policy.
  2. The research abstract of our project titled “Co-Designing the Health Navigator Model for Cancer Prevention Among People Experiencing Homelessness – the CANCERLESS Projectwas selected for poster presentation. Throughout the summit, or colleague Irfan Lone who was representing CANCERLESS was asked to share more insights, background and knowledge about the project, and this was clearly due to the fact that delegates resonated to this and found this extremely relevant, as well as broader showcase in EU projects and Poster display areas.
  3. The abstract was also selected for an oral presentation, and the findings of the study were highlighted among the plethora of experts in oncology, including political and legislative representatives from EU and beyond. In addition, sustainability, and life cycle of CANCERLESS project was also emphasised, given the fact that in coming months we will be wrapping up the project. In this regard, I wanted to focus on reaching out to legislative and political stakeholders in the summit to deliver the message of our interest for potential extension, in the domain that we have worked so far (screening and Prevention), but also in other domains; which is the entire trajectory of cancer continuum.
  4. CANCERLESS was represented by our colleague Irfan Lone from FEANTSA, Brussels who was also an expert panellist during a special session on “The Next generation of Young Cancer Leaders”. During this session, Irfan advocated for Equity, Inclusion and fair Policy and social justice and emphasised EUs collaborative approaches to serve the needs of marginalised groups into care pathway, from prevention to care. He shared the stage with the EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation, Education and Culture. In addition, Irfan expressed a broader vision and mission of CANCERLESS to her and briefly explored the synergies between legislation, research and the innovative outputs it could offer in the long run.
  5. INTERACT Europe: In a special meeting of Interact Europe project, CANCERLESS expressed its representation and support for this project which aims promote a patient-centric approach to quality cancer care by fostering the development of multidisciplinary and multi-professional teams.

During the 2023 European Cancer Summit, the CANCERLESS Project made a strong impression by elevating the voices of those who are often overlooked in the field of cancer treatment. Our Impactful presence promoted the underprivileged and marginalised people in cancer care, highlighted our research findings, and created cooperative relationships to support Europe’s fight against cancer. Our role is a genuine expression of the core of the EU’s Beating Cancer Plan, as it reverberates in defining the future landscape of cancer care through galvanising efforts, forging cross-disciplinary alliances, and driving equitable and inclusive policy changes. Through our active engagement, during the summit and beyond, we stay strong in contributing to “Accelerating Momentum” for a manifesto to 2030 and beyond.

Irfan M Lone

Advisor for Policy & Communications