Countries of Central and Southeastern Europe (CSEE) have an impressive economic growth ranging well above the Western part of the EU, yet are considered to be financially restricted regarding the reimbursement of EMA-registered compounds. The deficit in access to high-quality cancer care results in an increase in mortality in CSEE. The introduction of immune-checkpoint-inhibitors (ICPI) has resulted in a change in treatment paradigm involving many malignant diseases, but has largely bypassed countries from CSEE Therefore, it is the aim of the present project to
• Familiarize physicians from CSEE with immuno-oncology (IO)
• Establish cross-border tumor boards on immuno-oncology (TB- IO) under the participation of 13 “Centers of Excellence” identified by CECOG with an interdisciplinary participation in TB-IOs thus generating future “Centers of Reference in IO” in the respective country and CSEE
• 26 “Associated Centers” in turn identified by Centers of Excellence in the respective country. Members of Associated Centers will also participate in IO-TBs involving medical oncologists thus generating future “Centers of High Medical Expertise” in the respective country
o Update physicians from CSEE regarding the registration of ICPIs
o Monitor the access to IPCIs treatment and its impediments in CSEE countries
o Generate two publications in peer-review journals about first, the described cross-border educational activities and second, access to ICPIs and its obstacles in CSEE
The program follows the vision of the establishment of Centers of High Medical Expertise in IO in CSEE thus establishing the important concept of IO as therapeutic modality in this largely underserved region.