Looking back: PanCare Ghent 2023

The annual PanCare Meeting of 2023 which was held in Ghent brought together health care professionals, researchers, relevant organizations working in childhood cancer care and survivors and parents. There was two-day interactive program with presentations which highlighted different aspects of survivorship care, scientific updates on EU research grants and collaborations across Europe. Furthermore there were various workshops which were dedicated to parents, health care professionals and researchers who are involved in long-term follow-up care for childhood cancer survivors.

During the Annual Meeting there was also an extensive update given about the different projects and interventions which are developed in which PanCare is involved, presented by Jeroen te Dorsthorst and Heleen van der Pal, such as PanCare SurPass, PanCare FollowUp, Smart Care and Unica4EU. Furthermore our new colleague Tessa Fuchs presented the work she will be doing with the Plain Language Group in regards to the provision of comprehensible information to survivors. Last but not least, the EU-CAYAS-NET project was presented in which PanCare is involved in the topic ‘Quality of life’ for survivors in relation to long-term follow-up (LTFU) care. We work closely with other organizations in this project, for example CCI Europe, the Prinses Máxima Centre in Utrecht and the Medical University of Vienna. For this project we have designed a survey for survivors and their parents and for health care professionals who work in LTFU care for survivors which I presented and officially launched during the PanCare Ghent Meeting. The aim of the survey is to create an European map of available LTFU care within Europe. Furthermore we want to identify best practices, facilitators and barriers to accessible and effective LTFU care for survivors within Europe. Please help us create the European map and improve long-term follow-up care for survivors by filling out the survey which you can find via: www.beatcancer.eu/ltfusurvey

Last but certainly not least there was a social dinner in which participants had the chance to connect and bond with each other accompanied by the lovely food the Belgian kitchen has to offer. As it was my first PanCare meeting and being there not only as part of the PanCare team but also as a survivor, I was amazed and touched by the enormous joined efforts being made throughout the childhood cancer care community to improve childhood cancer care within Europe. Seeing people from all across Europe with different roles, expertise and shared experiences inspires to together work for the mission of PanCare; equal access to effective long-term follow-up care for an optimal quality of life for survivors across Europe.

We would like to thank all participants for their great contributions and especially the organizing committee Els Vandecruys (Pediatric Hemato-Oncologist) and Lieselotte Wauters (Nurse Consultant) of the Department of Pediatric Hemato-Oncology of the Ghent University with the support of the VZW Kinderkankerfonds, for the excellent hosting of a very valuable PanCare Meeting in Ghent.

We hope to see you next year during the Annual Meeting of PanCare 2024 in Ljubljana, Slovenia!

Greetings from the whole PanCare team,

Cherine Mathot