European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (October 2011)|
The EORTC is an international non-profit organization with a scientific goal created in 1962 by European cancer specialists, one of whom was the Belgian Professor Henri Tagnon. The organization’s head office is located in Brussels. Today, the co-ordination and analysis center includes over 150 staff members from many different nationalities. Since 1972, the NCI (National Cancer Institute) has had a liaison office nearby to promote cooperation and coordination of cancer research in the United States and Europe.
Mission, history, and background
EORTC’s mission is to promote, coordinate, analyze and publish clinical cancer research carried out by about 20 co-operating and multidisciplinary groups consisting of all types of cancer related specialists: radiotherapists, surgeons, medical oncologists, pathologists, immunologists, etc., to improve the treatment, and therefore the survival and quality of life, of all cancer patients.
European focus and a global partnership
EORTC is the only organization which carries out clinical studies at European level for all types of cancer. These activities allow the compilation of data on a large number of patients, ensuring that valid and convincing statistics are made available as quickly as possible. The multidisciplinary expertise of EORTC makes the organization an ideal partner for other academic networks. Co-operative clinical trials aiming rare tumors and frequent tumor sub-entities (identified by molecular changes) can therefore be carried out efficiently, ensuring the credibility of results and their rapid implementation. This partnership is not limited to European academic groups but also extends to both the American and Canadian National Cancer Institutes and several Australian networks.
A rigorous and independent methodology
The scientific design and analysis of each study is always carried out independently. EORTC also supports valuable co-operation between researchers, clinicians and the pharmaceutical industry to evaluate innovative molecules and shorten the period between the discovery of a new medication and its actual use.
The EORTC in figures
- Over 300 universities or affiliated hospitals in over 30 countries
- 2,500 doctors
- Each year some 6,500 new patients enrolled in EORTC trials
- Over 10 years, 67,000 patients recruited in EORTC clinical studies
50 years of concrete and applied results
The EORTC has designed new benchmark treatments, in particular for:
- Improving the survival of patients suffering from testicular cancer, Hodgkin’s disease, leukemia (child or adult), gastro-intestinal stromal tumors, brain tumors, etc.
- Avoiding a laryngectomy for 42% of patients with larynx cancer
- Carrying out surgery which is less mutilating in the case of breast cancer
- Improving the quality of life for patients (ambulatory care, fertility preservation, etc.)
- Effectively controlling infections for patients with leukemia, etc.
Funding for the EORTC
EORTC Charitable Trust
The EORTC Charitable Trust was created in 1976 to collect the necessary funds for EORTC to function with the cooperation of national cancer leagues involved in the fight against cancer (Germany, Belgium, Denmark, France, Hong Kong, Norway, The Netherlands, The UK, Switzerland, Sweden, etc.). Her Royal Highness Princess Astrid of Belgium is the Honorary President and Sir Christopher Mallaby chairs the Board of Directors of the EORTC Charitable Trust.
Transparent and diversified financing
EORTC research is supported by the EORTC Charitable Trust, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the United States of America, Fonds Cancer (FOCA), and the Belgian National Lottery. The European Commission provides support only for selected projects. Partnerships with the pharmaceutical industry have been set up within the framework of special studies approved by an independent peer review committee. Nevertheless, more than 70% of clinical studies led by EORTC focus on drugs that have already been commercialized or on combined strategies such as radiotherapy and surgery and consequently these studies require financial support from other sources. Additional contributions and sponsorship are vital to cover these scientific activities where the main goal is to effectively promote European cancer clinical research.
Main scientific events and methodology courses
- EORTC Groups Annual Meeting (EGAM)
- Clinical Trial Statistics for non Statisticians
- EORTC - NCI - AACR Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics
- One-Day Introduction to EORTC Trials
- EORTC - NCI - ASCO Annual Meeting on Molecular Markers in Cancer
- Methodology of Cancer Clinical Trials: The Next Generation
- ECCO - AACR - EORTC - ESMO Workshop on Methods in Clinical Cancer Research
- Organization and Implementation of Cancer Clinical Trials
- International Agency for Research on Cancer
- National Cancer Institute
- Federation of European Cancer Societies