I am extremely proud to have been elected President of ESMO
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ESMO President

Dear Colleagues and Friends, 

I am extremely proud to have been elected President of ESMO and to have inherited an organisation which has grown significantly in terms of its membership, as well as the breadth of its activities, geographical reach and influence in recent years. For that, we all owe much to Past President Rolf Stahel and I would personally like to thank him for his determination and skill in steering the Society on the right course.

Continuity in any organisation is essential and during my presidency I will be building further on the many excellent projects which have already begun, not least our drive to be ‘Across Oncology. Worldwide.’. For me, this is a powerful statement of intent. It encapsulates our vision, demonstrates our strength of purpose and reinforces our original mission.

Our members: central to all we do

Cancer is a complex group of diseases and by opening our membership to all professionals involved in cancer research, diagnosis, treatment, care and advocacy worldwide, we will be better placed to find solutions to challenging questions and advance the pace of change still further in the best interests of patients worldwide.

Of course, this is already happening. ESMO today is a community of more than 13,000 professionals working in more than 130 countries globally – and you can be assured that continuing to meet the needs of members will be central to everything we do throughout my presidency. For example, our decision to organise annual congresses in both Europe and Asia was driven by our members, who asked for more regular platforms at which to learn about the latest science and more opportunities to network with colleagues from many different fields, all without having to travel massive distances.

Under my presidency we will not only continue developing the highest quality products, services and events, but will also ensure they are delivered in the most appropriate and convenient manner, such as the development of online tools and web-enabled resources. 

Our first Chief Medical Officer 

Overseeing this expansion of our scientific and educational resources will be one of the main responsibilities of ESMO’s first Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and I was delighted recently to announce the appointment of Professor Jean-Yves Douillard into this new position.

With a career spanning 30 years, Jean-Yves was chosen because of his dedication to medical oncology – both in terms of practice and education – along with his experience in basic and translational research and his longstanding commitment to ESMO. As a senior member of the staff team at our headquarters in Lugano, he will ensure the latest advances in medical oncology and best practice methodologies are incorporated into all our materials, from Clinical Practice Guidelines to the development of congress programmes.

The CMO will also have an important part to play in assisting the professional development of our members, including those young oncologists who will soon take responsibility for the future success of both ESMO and medical oncology as a discipline. During my presidency we will expand the visibility and activities of the Young Oncologists’ Committee and the Women for Oncology Committee, alongside initiatives such as the ESMO Academy and Preceptorship courses. This year will also see the first ESMO Leaders Generation Programme, which I know will be a tremendous success and will gather momentum in the years ahead.

Collaboration: enriching the community

Another important theme will be collaboration, both within the Society and also with partner organisations – and it is my intention to share my presidency with you all.
I was particularly pleased to confirm the appointment of Dr Keith McGregor as ESMO’s Chief Executive Officer earlier this year. Having already made a significant contribution to the Society’s development since joining us in 2009, Keith has an essential role to play in leading and developing our staff, who have contributed so much to ESMO’s success.

Looking externally, as well as ensuring the ESMO community is enriched to include colleagues from many related fields, we will extend our collaborations by working closely with many other societies and organisations as part of an integrated approach to cancer treatment and care. In particular, I’m looking forward to our partnership with the EACR (European Association for Cancer Research) including our first congress together in 2017, which will bring researchers and clinicians together to bridge the gap between the laboratory and the clinic. 

Also during my presidency, I am keen for ESMO to extend its work in the public policy arena, influencing decision-making at an EU level, particularly regarding access to the best cancer medicines and care for everybody wherever they may live – something which is wholly in keeping with ESMO’s original mission and which was reiterated in our recently published 2020 Vision.

My hope is that every ESMO member is proud to belong to a rapidly growing international community which is playing such an important role in the fight against cancer. As part of my commitment to sharing my presidency with you, I would invite you to provide your feedback on our products and services and your suggestions on how we can best meet your needs in the future. Most of all, I hope you will play an active role in the Society so it can continue to grow, thrive and meet its objectives in the years ahead.

Fortunato Ciardiello
ESMO President
On behalf of the ESMO Executive Board

Listen, Solve, Pride, Enthusiasm. Fortunato Ciardiello, ESMO President 2016-2017, outlines the guiding principles for the next two years of his presidency.

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ESMO President Fortunato Ciardiello