PRESS RELEASE: European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC) celebrates its 20th Annual Congress 

Brussels, Belgium – The European Cancer Patient Coalition celebrated its 20th Annual Congress and 20 Year Anniversary on June 23 – 24, 2023, under the auspices of the Organization of European Cancer Institutes (OECI). 

The Congress brought together policymakers, stakeholders in the oncology community, and most importantly ECPC Members – patient organizations from 24 countries. The theme and title of the Congress was: 

Collaboration. Networking. Listening to the needs of cancer patients:

The essence of the EU’s Beating Cancer Plan and Cancer Mission.

The Congress was opened by an address by the Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides: “For two decades, the European Cancer Patient Coalition has supported and represented cancer patients across Europe. Amplifying their voices. Fighting for equality. And working to ensure that all cancer patients can access the best treatment and care available – no matter where they live. No matter their age. No matter their background. The title of today’s Congress resonates strongly with me – ‘Collaboration. Networking. Listening to the needs of cancer patients. These were also our guiding principles when we started to design Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan.”

These words were reinforced by Director General for Health and Food Safety, Sandra Gallina, who thanked ECPC for its tireless efforts in cancer patient advocacy:

You are celebrating 20 years of action of ECPC. Now for 20 years, you have shown a light on the importance of equity in access to the highest quality cancer care. You have been working tirelessly to empower cancer patients everywhere and for this I thank you. […] Our success depends on close cooperation across all levels of society. Thanks to the work of the ECPC and others – we have come a very long way in the last 20 years. Together we can make even greater strides in the next 20, as we work as a team to beat this terrible disease. 

ECPC’s 20th Annual Congress focused on 6 sessions. The first three focused on setting the scene with the developments surrounding 20 years of cancer policy advocacy, the EU Beating Cancer Plan and Mission on Cancer and the EU health policy landscape. The last three sessions focused on addressing the new cancer care delivery landscape, the inequalities in cancer care, and the role of biomarkers in personalized medicine.

During the meeting, ECPC President, Francesco De Lorenzo reinforced: “We are now starting to build the ECPC of the next decade. This can only be achieved with the support, experience, knowledge, commitment, and voluntary involvement of all members, partners, sponsors and friends. We are proud to count among the invited speakers to our Annual Congress, some of our partners of many years and Coordinators of several of the EU funded projects in which ECPC is a partner: Prof. Eric Solary of, Dr. Giovanni Apolone of CCI4EU, Prof. Walter Ricciardi Chair of the Mission Board for Cancer, Dr. Marc Van Den Bulcke, Coordinator of Can.HEAL Prof. Anton Berns, European Academy of Cancer Sciences and Prof. Paolo Casali, Coordinator of JANE, among others. We can advance into the new decade only if we focus on our mission and the values that govern our operations, remain united and continue to speak with one voice, the ECPC voice, about cancer.”

Collaboration is the only way forward. As Commissioner Kyriakides stated, “We have a concrete Plan – a plan that is for the first time so holistic and well-funded but it can only succeed, if we all breathe life into it. Together. The European Cancer Patient Coalition is a key partner. Cooperation and collaboration are the keys to a healthier, more equal future. With patients at the very centre of our efforts.”  


Francesco de Lorenzo

President, European Cancer Patient Coalition  

George Kapetanakis

Secretary to the Board, European Cancer Patient Coalition 


About ECPC

With over 450 members, we are proud to be the largest European non-profit cancer patients’ association. Covering all 27 European Union Member States, and many other European and non-European countries, we represent those affected by all types of cancers, from the rarest to the most common.