Meunier ECC

Leading cancer research team win The 2018 European Health Award

Researchers from Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Leeds, as part of a pan-European partnership called the European Cancer Concord (ECC)® , have won the prestigious 2018 European Health Award.

This award honours initiatives that help tackle some of Europe’s most pressing health challenges.

The award-winning project, entitled ‘The European Cancer Patient’s Bill of Rights: A Catalyst for Change and an empowerment tool for cancer patients across Europe’ involves an equal partnership between cancer patients, healthcare professionals and cancer researchers.

Professor Mark Lawler, Chair in Translational Cancer Research at Queen’s University Belfast and Vice President of ECC, today (Wednesday 3 October) received the award on behalf of the partnership during the opening ceremony of the European Health Forum Gastein, the premier European Health Policy Conference and an official event of the Austrian European Council Presidency.

One of the key outputs from the research has been the development of a 70:35 Vision, 70 per cent long term survival for all cancer patients across Europe by 2035.

“Our 70:35 Vision is built upon the pillars of cross border and interdisciplinary cooperation, sharing best practice and ensuring that research and innovation gets translated for the benefit of patients,” explained Professor Peter Selby, Professor of Cancer Medicine at the University of Leeds and President of ECC. “This is a superb example of how cooperative European activities that involve sharing best practice between countries can result in top class prize-winning initiatives.”

Professor Lawler commented: “Cancer knows no borders, so it is important that we work together to develop solutions that address cancer inequalities in all parts of Europe. I am immensely proud to be accepting this award, not only on behalf of our team who have worked together over the last five years on this initiative, but also on behalf of the millions of European citizens who are living with and beyond cancer, and experiencing cancer inequalities every single day of their lives.”

Working in close partnership with European patient organisations and professional societies has been a key part of the initiative.

Prof Francoise Meunier, Director of Special Projects at the European Organisation for the Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) and a member of the ECC Executive said “ I am especially delighted that the European Cancer Patient Bill of Rights has received this prestigious award.  EORTC has been involved in this initiative from the start and we would especially emphasise that collaborative research and innovation must be embedded within cancer control efforts to ensure best outcomes for our patients. Additionally it is crucial to achieve long term survivorship with best quality of life for our patients”

Speaking at the award ceremony, Professor Lawler said: “Cooperation is the key to this initiative. We need to compete, not against each other, but against our common enemy – Cancer.”


Media inquiries to Queen’s University Communications Office on +44 (0)28 9097 5845 or

Notes to Editor:

  1. The European Cancer Concord (ECC) ® is an equal partnership between patients and healthcare professionals dedicated to addressing cancer inequalities in Europe. It was supported by the Society for Translational Oncology and the Morrison Endowment in Leeds The Members of the European Cancer Concord Executive Committee are:
  • Professor Mark Lawler, Queen’s University Belfast, UK and Vice President European Cancer Concord
  • Professor Peter Selby, University of Leeds, UK and President European Cancer Concord
  • Dr Ian Banks, Chair European Cancer Organisation (ECCO) Patient Advocate Committee, Brussels, Belgium and Vice President European Cancer Concord
  • Professor Thierry Le Chevalier, Chair, European Cancer Concord Executive Committee, Institut Gustav Roussy, Paris, France
  • Professor Francoise Meunier, Director of Special Projects, European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC)
  • Kate Law, Director, Lister Institute for Preventative Medicine, London, UK
  • Peter Kapitein, President, Inspire2Live, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • Dr Tit Albreht, Coordinator of the Joint Action iPAAC, National Institute of Public Health of Slovenia,
  • Dr Sakari.Karjalainen, President of the Association of European Cancer Leagues, Helsinki, Finland
  • Kathy Oliver, Chair and Co-Director of the International Brain Tumour Alliance, London, UK
  • Dr Sarper Diler, President Myeloma Patients Europe, Istanbul, Turkey
  • Professor Carlo LaVecchia, Professor of Cancer Epidemiology, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy
  • Professor Christoph Zielinski, President of the Central European Cooperative Oncology Group, Vienna, Austria.
  1. Pre-recorded audio with Professor Mark Lawler is available for download in the attachments area.
  2. Interview bids and media enquiries to Queen’s communications Office on +44 (0)28 9097 5845 or email:
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