EFIC has played a vital role in the INTERACT-EUROPE initiative, a collaborative project led by the European Cancer Organization (ECO) and supported by EU funding from the EU4Health program 2021-2027 as part of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan. This project united 33 partners from 17 different countries with the goal of creating a comprehensive European inter-specialty cancer training program that encompasses all major oncology disciplines and professions, cancer centers, and patient groups.
In the initial 18-month phase of INTERACT-EUROPE, the project had several key objectives. These included developing a comprehensive Inter-specialty Cancer Training (ISCT) curriculum for cancer care providers, enrolling an initial group of trainees and participating cancer centers, exploring the use of innovative technologies in the program, and establishing a long-term vision for inter-specialty cancer training in Europe. Through close collaboration with cancer pain specialist advisors, INTERACT-EUROPE work package leaders, and other stakeholders, EFIC played a significant role in incorporating pain control as a fundamental component of the ISCT curriculum. The final ISCT curriculum, endorsed by INTERACT-EUROPE, now encompasses the evaluation and management of pain throughout the entire cancer journey, including vulnerable populations such as the frail elderly, adults with learning disabilities, and those at risk of substance abuse disorders. This curriculum has been published in the European Journal of Surgical Oncology.
As the first funding phase of INTERACT-EUROPE concludes, a special showcase event is scheduled for November 17, 2023, in Brussels and invitees include leaders in oncology, education, policymakers, cancer center directors, and politicians for panel discussions and in-depth exchanges on cancer training. At this event, the blueprint outlining the essential recommendations and prerequisites for the successful implementation of the ISCT program in Europe will be unveiled. This event will mark a pivotal moment, ensuring the lasting impact of the project’s achievements. Additionally, the showcase event will mark the launch of the next phase of INTERACT, which aims to expand to 100 cancer centers across Europe and further implement the extensive ISCT curriculum. EFIC will actively participate in the showcase event to celebrate the development of this unique and transformative initiative.