ECIBC plenary 2015 report
ECIBC plenary 2015: Improving breast cancer screening, diagnosis and care in Europe
The second plenary of the European Commission Initiative on Breast Cancer (ECIBC) took place from the 9 to the 11 December 2015 in Baveno, Italy. The purpose of the ECIBC Plenaries is to inform stakeholders on the activities of the ECIBC while at the same time seeking their feedback. The ECIBC was endorsed by members of the European Parliament during the Plenary through video messages by Anneli Jäätteenmäki, Vice-President European Parliament, and Alojz Peterle, President of the Member of Parliament’s (MEP) Against Cancer. The 2015 edition of the Plenary, entitled ‘Improving breast cancer screening, diagnosis and care in Europe’, included updates on the ECIBC, highly relevant key-note speeches, and presentations both on related projects and on the situation of breast cancer services in different countries. In addition it focused, via dedicated parallel sessions, on four topics relevant for the ECIBC that, even if they have been debated for some years, are at present still largely under discussion: • continuity of care; • communication (and its assessment) in person-centred services; • key outcomes for studies on breast cancer screening; • volume-outcomes relation in breast cancer care. Participation to the conference was only upon invitation. Ninety-seven persons from outside the JRC participated in this meeting, representing policy makers, patients, stakeholders, as well as representatives from other European Commission Directorates-General. While the JRC staff provided and overview of the ECIBC progress, chairs of the two working groups, the Guidelines Development Group (GDG) and Quality Assurance Scheme Development Group (QASDG) presented interim outputs and plans of the two ECIBC pillars. During the Event, the dates for 2016 Plenary were announced and the ECIBC web hub was launched. The web hub will constitute the interface of the project with all stakeholders, including citizens, enabling them to find useful information on the progress of the project in the development phase and, in future, the guidelines and requirements defining the quality benchmark to be achieved by breast cancer services throughout Europe. Overall, participants judged the 2015 Plenary as meeting their expectations concerning the content and organisation of the event and provided valuable suggestions for aspects that may still be improved. In summary, the 2015 ECIBC Plenary succeeded both in informing stakeholders, while seeking their feedback and endorsement, and in further shaping the ECIBC pillars. The ECIBC will continue to provide a platform for networking at the interface between research and policy. The ECIBC Plenaries aim at promoting a factual dialogue between science, clinicians, policy makers and administration, and, last but not least, patients in order to improve care for women confronted with breast cancer.