Main actions


Quality improvement in Cancer Care and Research

The Accreditation and Designation Programme, specifically designed for cancer centres, aims to constantly improve our cancer centres’ organisation. About 50% of the OECI Members are already included in the A&D Programme. The OECI quality approach is now recognised as the only existing European process specifically designed for cancer centres, providing a significant impact in the quality of cancer care. The certified Institutes represent the so-called “OECI Quality Network”. In addition to the A&D Programme, OECI established a detailed and focused benchmarking of comprehensive cancer care to transfer best practices amongst OECI members, as well as disseminating them across the entire cancer community.

Enhancing the partnership patients-cancer institutes

Although in-depth integration of cancer research into care and education are the tripod of OECI objectives, the Organisation is moving towards enhancing the partnership with patient associations, involving cancer patients into its thinking and actions. This interest is confirmed by the strategic alliance with the European Cancer Patient Coalition – ECPC. Bringing together patient organisations and cancer institutes will provide a coherent picture of today’s cancer patients’ expectations, ranging from: quality of care to information on survivorship and medical nutrition, improvement in the quality of interdisciplinary patient treatment, harmonisation in oncology healthcare practices and patient advocacy capacity to effectively tackle cancer care inequalities in Europe.

Biobanks and Molecular Pathobiology

Handling tumour heterogeneity and molecular signatures are the basis of the stratification of cancer patients, and clinical research is increasingly integrated with practical medical applications. In view of the crucial role of pathology departments, and of the expected ‘influx’ of new markers and diagnostics in a scope of OMICS, the OECI WG on Biobanks and Molecular Pathobiology acts in close cooperation with the European Association for Cancer Research - EACR, the BBMRI European infrastructure, the European Society of Pathology and the IMPACTS network.
The aims of the WG is to avoid irreproducibility of clinical research, to accelerate the waiting time for biomarkers validation, to give to cancer centres of excellence more opportunities to define personalised treatments, and to improve the use of clinical tissues. The OECI collaborates also with EACR by organising courses and congresses on Personalised Medicine.

Cancer Outcomes Research

A new working group on cancer outcomes research has been activated in response to the need of following-up prospectively cohorts of patients. For CCCs located in areas covered by population registries, comparative analyses between population and clinical sets of patients will be possible, using EUROCARE and High Resolution data on survival and outcomes.

OECI and rare cancers

OECI is particularly involved in the care of patients suffering from rare cancers. An even higher discrepancy in patient outcomes, depending where they are treated, is still observed. OECI coordinates the work package on quality of care of the Joint Action on Rare Cancers, recently launched by the Directorate General for Health and Consumer Protection of the European Commission. OECI also acts as associate partner and facilitator of the European Reference Network on rare solid tumours in adults; an impressive network of cancer centres of reference for rare cancers that is partially based on OECI quality standards. The network, coordinated by the Centre Léon Bérard in Lyon, involves several cancer centres from 18 countries, with a large percentage coming from OECI membership.

Education and Training

Educational activities focus, more particularly, on the above mentioned fields and are flourishing in order to strengthen the OECI objectives and to disseminate the acquired knowledge. A special educational programme is jointly developed with the European Association for Cancer Research - EACR. The OECI is also involved in broadcasting the educational programme of the European School of Oncology “ESO”, a full OECI member. A specific e-learning programme is under development with the ecancermedicalscience journal.

Communication and Dissemination

Regular updates of the Organisation are published on the website ecancermedicalscience (the official OECI e-journal), hosts cutting edge papers, news, reports and videos. Formal collaborations have been established with the reviews Cancerworld and Tumori Journal.