In the run-up to World Cancer Day 2019, ECF and ESTRO held a policy forum at the European Parliament, kindly hosted by Lieve Wierinck MEP, to highlight the importance of radiotherapy as a pillar of cancer care. The policy forum focused on the urgent need to elevate radiotherapy to the policy agenda, both to showcase its value to cancer patients and to address gaps in access to and provision of radiotherapy.
The forum featured presentations from leading figures, followed by a panel discussion surrounding the need for different stakeholders to tackle the underutilisation of radiotherapy.
The round-table format enabled an engaging dialogue among speakers and attendees, with thought‐provoking discussions being held throughout the event.
The policy forum acted as an excellent launchpad to further promote the white paper, engage stakeholders and preview the animation ahead of its launch on World Cancer Day.
Attendees were asked to write a written pledge or personal endorsement on a branded ‘pledge card’. This was well received and offered a tangible way for attendees to show their support.
During the discussion, Lieve Wierinck MEP raised the importance of education and shared learning for clinicians. She said: ‘We need a plan where students and specialists can travel across Europe to learn from each other.’
An awareness-raising social media campaign was launched in late October 2018 and ran until mid-February 2019.
The campaign highlighted key messages from the white paper, with content posted across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.
To coincide with the launch of the white paper, a social media toolkit was hosted on the Marie Curie Legacy Campaign website to help stakeholders and supporters of the campaign promote its messages.
The hashtag #RadiotherapySavesLives was developed and used in posts to promote the campaign. Many organisations engaged with the campaign and used the hashtag.
The event was popular on social media, with cancer organisations across Europe and beyond engaging with posts from the official ECF Twitter account and attendees posting their own content. This resulted in engagement and promotion from the European CanCer Organisation, Lieve Wierinck, the European Cancer Patient Coalition, COCIR (European Coordination Committee of the Radiological, Electromedical and Healthcare IT Industry) and the Lancet Oncology. (For more details on the media engagement, please check our Media Coverage section.)
The project was completed with final social media posts being delivered until 17 February 2019 to maximise the launch of the animation.
The materials produced for this campaign gained extremely wide dissemination and continued to be a key resource in this area.
The Marie Curie Legacy Campaign will continue advocating for radiotherapy, with exceptionally engaged supporters, clear messages and high-quality materials.
ECF is currently looking to the future of the campaign and hopes to build on the strong foundation created by this project.