Strategic overview

EORTC is all about science and progress in cancer care

As early as 1962, visionary leaders in cancer medicine realised that patient management cannot advance without a solid understanding of the disease and its biology, vigorous testing of novel treatments, and cross-disciplinary collaboration beyond state borders. This is how EORTC approaches cancer clinical research.

We look for impactful new solutions, placing patients at the centre of our programme

In a rapidly changing healthcare environment, fresh approaches such as precision medicine and immunotherapy are dominating drug development and therapeutic strategies. Traditional clinical research is transforming to new pathways and mechanisms. Modern challenges in research arise from our understanding of tumour heterogeneity and escape mechanisms, the increasing role of biomarkers, and new types of endpoints and data.

As oncology rapidly evolves into an era of precision medicine, EORTC activities are supported by the following features: the integration of pharmacology, molecular biology, tumour immunology and imaging, as well as transversal problem-solving beyond organ-based medicine:

  • Open platforms for molecular tumour characterisation to efficiently access sub-groups of molecularly defined patients
  • Analytical and clinical validation of biomarker and related assays
  • Novel tools and imaging methods to evaluate the effects of treatment quickly and thoroughly
  • Constructive lobbying for a regulatory environment conducive to patient-friendly innovation
  • Partnerships and collaborations with industry, patient advocacy groups, and professional societies to build new research models and optimise resources
  • Collaborative approaches with patient registries to evaluate the “real-world” impact of clinical research and true benefits of treatments
  • Following patients beyond their disease, through integrative and original research programmes addressing long-term outcomes and social impact

EORTC establishes its scientific strategy through the Scientific Chairs Council (SCC) formed by the leadership of its Groups and Task Forces. A specific Council dedicated to radiation oncology – the Radiation Oncology Scientific Council (ROSC), integral to the SCC – supports the development of the scientific strategy with the specificities of this discipline. The SCC is therefore a unique place to meet for all disciplines across tumour types and address together major shared oncological challenges. The SCC establishes the scientific strategy and prioritisation process of the Organisation. Integral to existing clinical research infrastructures and solutions developed by EORTC Headquarters, the scientific strategy focuses of oncological questions where EORTC brings an additional substantial value to the international scientific and patient communities. The EORTC scientific strategy is updated as science evolves and on a 3 to 5 years structural basis.

The SCC brings major added strengths to the EORTC:

  • The capability to embrace oncological challenges beyond the boundaries of tumours
  • The agility to deliver practice-changing trials as well as knowledge development programs from very early-stage disease to advanced settings
  • The possibility to embed critical translational sciences as well as quality of life and patient reported outcomes
  • The efficiency of sharing cross-cutting solutions
  • The capacity to address and develop forefront methodological solutions

Revolving around clinical situations and unmet needs, supported by a multidisciplinary approach, EORTC’s scientific strategy aims at developing new knowledge and validating it for therapeutic progress.