Towards reducing inequalities: European Standards of Care for Children with Cancer

Published:December 02, 2013DOI:


      Despite the increase of cure rates in the treatment of children with cancer there is a significant discrepancy in the outcome within Europe. Data are showing us that there is a difference of 20% in outcomes for young people with cancer when comparing North and Western Europe with Central and Eastern Europe. One of the most important necessities, in order to be able to have comparable results and equitable outcomes about inequalities, is to have the Principle Treatment Centres, meeting a minimum level of standards and being accessible to continuously updated ‘best practice’.
      The European Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOPE) has initiated a study in order to monitor the current situation of the European Standards of Paediatric Oncology Centres. The results of the study showed disparities of Standards of Care in the Treatment Centres across Europe. Therefore SIOPE initiated a project aimed at improving the Quality-of-Care of children and adolescents with cancer and to assess the relevant organisational aspects within paediatric oncology.
      At the first European Union (EU) Conference in Warsaw 2009, an agreement was obtained from all involved stakeholders to initiate the creation of Pan-European guidelines entitled ‘European Standards of Care for Children with Cancer’. The guidelines outlined in this document represent the minimum standards of care that should be implemented at the EU level. Describing the different aspects of Care over 15 chapters and available in more than 16 different EU languages these guidelines are used as tools for both professionals and parent/patients groups in order to advocate ‘improved standards across EU’.


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to European Journal of Cancer
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Steliarova-Foucher E.
        • Stiller C.
        • Kaatsch P.
        • Berrino F.
        • Coebergh J.W.
        • Lacour B.
        • et al.
        Geographical patterns and time trends of cancer incidence and survival among children and adolescents in Europe since the 1970s (the ACCISproject): an epidemiological study.
        Lancet. 2004; 364: 2097-2105
        • Gatta G.
        • Zigon G.
        • Capocaccia R.
        • Coebergh J.W.
        • Desandes E.
        • Kaatsch P.
        • et al.
        Survival of European children and young adults with cancer diagnosed 1995–2002.
        Eur J Cancer. 2009; 45: 992-1005
        • Pritchard-Jones K.
        Clinical trials for children with cancer in Europe – still a long way from harmonisation: a report from SIOP Europe.
        Eur J Cancer. 2008; 44: 2106-2111
        • Pritchard-Jones K.
        • Kaastch P.
        • Steliarova-Foucher E.
        • Stiller C.A.
        • Coebergh J.W.W.
        Cancer in children and adolescents in Europe: developments over 20 years and future challenges.
        Eur J Cancer. 2006; 42: 2183-2190
        • Pritchard-Jones K.
        • Pieters R.
        • Reaman G.H.
        • Hjorth L.
        • Downie P.
        • Calaminus G.
        • et al.
        Sustaining innovation and improvement in the treatment of childhood cancer: lessons from high-income countries.
        Lancet Oncol. 2013; 14: e95-e103
        • Kowalczyk J.R.
        Report on ‘the standards in paediatric oncology’.
        SIOPE Newsl. 2009; 4 (
      1. Report from conference: European Standards of Care for Children with Cancer. SIOPE Newsl 2011;11:5–7.

        • Sullivan R.
        • Kowalczyk J.R.
        • Agarwal B.
        • Ladenstein R.
        • Fitzgerald E.
        • Barr R.
        • et al.
        New policies to address the global burden of childhood cancers.
        Lancet Oncol. 2013; 14: e125-e135
      2. European Standards of Care for Children with Cancer.

        • Hudson M.M.
        • Neglia J.P.
        • Woods W.G.
        • Sandlund J.T.
        • Pui C.H.
        • Kun L.E.
        • et al.
        Lessons from the past: opportunities to improve childhood cancer survivor care through outcomes investigations of historical therapeutic approaches for pediatric hematological malignancies.
        Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2012; 58: 334-343
        • Pritchard-Jones K.
        • Lewison G.
        • Camporesi S.
        • Vassal G.
        • Ladenstein R.
        • Benoit Y.
        • et al.
        The state of research into children with cancer across Europe: new policies for a new decade.
        eCancer. 2011; 5: 210
        • Vassal G.
        Will children with cancer benefit from the new European Paediatric Medicines Regulation?.
        Eur J Cancer. 2009; 45: 1535-1546