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European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC)

European Cancer Patient Coalition

The European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC) is the voice of >470 members in 50 countries representing all EU Member States and the UK.

ECPC works for a Europe of equality, where all European cancer patients have timely and affordable access to the best diagnosis, treatment and care available and where cancer patients have the possibility to seek diagnosis and treatment in a specialized cancer centre in another EU Member State, using the possibilities offered by the ERNs-European Reference Networks and Cross-Border Healthcare Directive.

At ECPC, we work to ensure that the entire cancer care pathway effectively includes prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, survivorship, palliative and end-of life care. ECPC derives its mandate to speak with “one voice” for all Europeans with cancer, their carers and families, from its wide membership, covering all cancers, common and rare, and its democratic governance and structure.

The ECPC plays an essential role in cancer policy in Europe by effectively acting as the voice of cancer patients. The organization is committed to representing patients’ interests and proposing patient-centric solutions to cancer-related problems. As such, the ECPC has been a critical stakeholder in defining cancer policy in Europe through its participation in all EU Joint Actions till now.

The ECPC has been raising awareness of the key issues that lead to disparities in cancer care; it has also been making practical recommendations to bridge the gap between cancer policy and cancer care practice

Supported by the ECPC capacity building strategy, its +470 member patient organizations have the vital role of advocating for cancer policy recommendations at the national level.

The primary missions of the ECPC are to educate patients, increase their involvement in research and to disseminate information about cancer and cancer research results to the general public. This active engagement of patients is vital to improving the quality of health care in Europe and to understanding patient preferences about their treatment and care, as they are crucial elements of patient-centred care.

The research projects allow the ECPC to be at the forefront of scientific developments, and the organization is actively involved in the design and implementation of several EU-funded projects. Within these projects, the ECPC emphasises the importance of involving patients as core researchers and strongly advocates for patients’ early participation in defining research priorities and patient-centric treatment decisions. Among the subjects covered by the research projects in which ECPC participates are the socio-economic disparities in cancer in the European Union, cancer survivorship, precision oncology, genomics, eHealth, novel biomarkers, HTA, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence.

Biographies of team members

Francesco de Lorenzo

Francesco de Lorenzo is the President of the European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC). Francesco is a colon cancer survivor with 25 years of experience in patient advocacy, capacity building, research, networking building, policy, partnership and project design and management. In ECPC since 2004 (co-Founder): from 2013 to 2019 as President and re-elected in 2022. He is also President of the Italian Federation of Cancer Patients Organisation (FAVO), President of the Italian Association for Cancer Patients (Aimac). Involved in several European research projects and collaborating in the past with the consortium Cancer Core Europe in the Board of Directors. Board member of the European Academy of Cancer Science (EACS) and of the Cancer Drug Development Forum (CDDF). He has been Member of the European Commission Expert Group on Cancer Control (2014/2018) and co-author of the European Cancer Patients’ Bill of Rights. Author and Co-Author of more than 50 publications on cancer research and advocacy, 6 of them on Molecular Oncology in the last 3 years. He is an MD and has been full Professor of Biochemistry in the Medical School of the Federico II University, Naples, Italy.

Charis Girvalaki

Dr. Charis Girvalaki is the Director of the European Cancer Patient Coalition. The scope of her work is to build bridges between policy and research project management, support the collaboration with research institutions, EU regulatory authorities, policymakers, industry, European stakeholders and patient organizations and help the organization to put cancer in the frontline of the European agenda.

She has more than ten-year experience in European and International projects and has worked with a wide range of key players and stakeholders, including European and governmental institutions, academia, health services, local authorities. Charis graduated from Chemistry Department, University of Crete, Greece. She holds a Master’s degree in Public Health and Healthcare Management specialized in Epidemiology and a PhD from Medical School, University of Crete, Greece.

Aliki Stathopoulou

Aliki Stathopoulou joined the European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC) on October 2022 and, as a Senior Health and Research Officer, she works with various project files of the organisation, contributes to EU and industry-funded projects, and establishes good working relations with key stakeholders.

Aliki graduated from the Biology Department, University of Crete, Greece, and she holds a Ph.D. from the Medical School, University of Crete, Greece. Her main scientific interests, as depicted in her Ph.D. thesis and post-doctoral research, were focused on the design, development, and evaluation (clinical and analytical) of highly sensitive molecular diagnostic methods for Breast Cancer patients.

She has a previous 16 years of experience in the fields of Public Health and Quality Assurance, working as an Accreditation Manager for the Hellenic Accreditation System (ESYD) and she has a proven track record in liaising and working with stakeholders, partnerships, and scientific networks related to healthcare at the national and Pan-European level, and, as well, publishing reports and guidelines on Health Care issues.