Dear SIOP Members and Partners,
The year 2020 brought many changes to SIOP. Some were anticipated developments for our Society, others were forced upon us as the COVID-19 pandemic erupted across the world. Our Board and membership have been very active in responding to these challenges. I hope you enjoy reading this Annual_Report that summarises the huge efforts undertaken by our Committees, Working Groups (WGs) and the wider membership to advance the cause of children and adolescents with cancer worldwide.
We finalised our new Strategy for the next 5 years (2021-2015) and affirmed with our membership that the new strategic themes resonate with their needs and ambitions. We now look forward to implementing the projects that SIOP will support directly and to strengthening and expanding our work in partnership with other stakeholders in the field.
Early in 2020, we responded to the urgent need for professional guidance during the COVID pandemic. We led the publication of two ‘rapid guidance’ papers on maintaining and adapting childhood cancer services and worked with St. Jude Global to create a collaboration platform for sharing experiences and learning. This includes a Global Registry that had captured details of COVID-19 infection in 1,230 children with cancer by the end of the year and which continues to contribute valued evidence to inform clinical management.
The necessity to change our 2020 Annual Congress into an online ‘virtual’ format proved successful. The Congress attracted the largest ever number of delegates (3,361 from 131 countries) and included an increased participation from those in training or living in low- and middle-income countries. We intend to continue this widened access by delivering future Congresses in a hybrid format, with both in-person and virtual attendance possible.
The SIOP 2020 Congress was also the occasion where we announced SIOP’s first patron – Her Royal Highness Princess Dina Mired of Jordan. Princess Dina is a well-known advocate for children with cancer and a global influential voice for cancer patients and improved services. She will support the Board in our advocacy work and delivery of our new Strategy.
We have strengthened our working with the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a recognised non-state actor, both renewing our second 3-year programme in July 2020 and supporting the detailed planning for implementing the Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer (GICC), announced on December 11, 2020.
Through ‘All Hands In’ with our close partners, SIOP aims to make a substantial contribution to saving the lives of an additional 1 million children with cancer worldwide by 2030. To that end, we continued working closely with our partners. We signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with St. Jude Global in September 2020, and we are continuing to work closely with the International Society of Paediatric Surgical Oncology (IPSO), Paediatric Radiation Oncology Society (PROS) and other strategic partners. We have strengthened our collaboration with Childhood Cancer International (CCI) and most recently worked on a joint 3-year advocacy and awareness raising plan.
In October 2020, several longstanding and eminent supporters of SIOP stepped down from the SIOP Board of Directors: Gregory Reaman (Treasurer), Eric Bouffet (Past-President and Advocacy Chair), Scott Howard (Secretary-General), Donna Jonhston (Local Organising Committee Chair), Sandra Luna-Fineman (Co-Chair of the Paediatric Oncology in Developing Countries [PODC] Committee) and Arturo Moreno (Continental President-Latin America), who sadly passed away in January 2021. SIOP is extremely thankful for the many years of service and leadership that these Board members brought to SIOP and pays tribute to the lifetime achievements of Arturo in helping children with cancer.
At the Annual Congress in October 2020, we also welcomed several new Board members: Julia Challinor (Secretary-General), Lisa Morrissey (Nursing Steering Committee Chair), Guillermo Luis Chantada (Continental President-Latin America) and Wade Kyono (Local Organizing Committee Chair).
In 2021, we look forward to working with our members and partners in implementing the new SIOP Strategy 2021-2025. We are confident that we will deliver a strong Annual Congress in 2021.
Kathy Pritchard-Jones, SIOP President