Cancer research team win 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, have won the prestigious 2018 European Health Award honouring initiatives that help tackle some of Europe’s most pressing health challenges.

EMHF president Ian Banks, vice-president of the European Cancer Concord Executive Committee, said: ‘Patients have been at the heart of this initiative. Addressing cancer inequalities and ensuring equal access to precise information, to quality diagnostics and to optimum care, will lead to improved outcomes for cancer patients.’

Ian is also chair of the Patient Advocacy Group of the European CanCer Organisation (ECCO), Europe’s premier interdisciplinary cancer organisation, which has been a major partner in the initiative. ECCO’s President Professor Philip Poortmans said ‘The success of this initiative, recognised by the 2018 European Health Award, highlights how interdisciplinary partnerships are the key to finding solutions that will improve cancer control across Europe and help enhance patients outcomes.’

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.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.

Professor Mark Lawler, Chair in Translational Cancer Research at Queen’s University Belfast and Vice President of ECC received the award on behalf of the partnership during the opening ceremony of the European Health Forum Gastein in October 2018, an official event of the Austrian European Council Presidency.