Dear SIOP members and colleagues,

Our Spring newsletter is the chance to look forward with optimism to better days ahead and to celebrate progress. Indeed, it was wonderful to be able to attend the SIOP Africa 2022 congress in person in Kampala, Uganda. There were 359 delegates on-site, all benefitting from the camaraderie of being together to share their achievements and future plans. The congress was held very safely, due to the meticulous organisation of Joyce Kambugu and the local organising committee.

The success of the SIOP Africa congress augurs well for the SIOP 2022 congress, to be held in-person from 28 Sept – 1 Oct 2022, Barcelona, Spain, for which we have received 1,634 abstracts. Whilst there will be the opportunity to join on-line, we urge you all to attend to reconnect with your networks and hear the latest advances in cancer research and care for children and young people.

SIOP’s Advocacy committee has been very active, with a powerful webinar held on World Cancer Day (Feb 4) and a global joint campaign with CCI for International Childhood Cancer Day (Feb 15). I urge you to revisit and amplify these important messages.

The last few months have also seen some unexpected and unwelcome events that affect us all. The COVID pandemic continues to spawn new variants with increased infection rates but perhaps lesser clinical consequences. We still need to advocate for world-wide roll out of vaccination for health care workers and at risk individuals. The war in Ukraine has had tragic consequences for many. The childhood cancer community has mobilised very rapidly to help children with cancer continue their treatment in safety and we thank our members and partners for all their efforts.

This newsletter showcases the work going on through our Continental Presidents, committees, networks and partnerships. There is amazing progress that I cannot summarise in one paragraph. However, one long-lasting impact needs to be individually acknowledged – the legacy of Professor Hans Peter Wagner’s work to establish SIOP Paediatric Oncology in Developing Countries. When I informed him about the planned name change transition from SIOP PODC to SIOP Global Health last year, he replied “With no change, no progress!” A response that is so typical of his generosity of spirit. We will all hold his memory dear, I am sure.

We look forward to being able to meet again in person during 2022.

Kathy Pritchard-Jones, SIOP President

on behalf of the SIOP Board of Directors