Analysing the attributes of Comprehensive Cancer Centres and Cancer Centres across Europe to identify key hallmarks

Sebastian Kehrloesser, Simon Oberst, Willien Westerhuis, Astrid Wendler, Anke Wind, Harriët Blaauwgeers, Jean Benoit Burrion, Péter Nagy, Gunnar Saeter, Eva Gustafsson, Paolo De Paoli, József Lovey, Claudio Lombardo, Thierry Philip, Dominique de Valeriola, Marjet Docter, Femke Boomsma, Mahasti Saghatchian, Marek Svoboda, Irene PhilipFrancesco Monetti, Henk Hummel, Gordon McVie, Renée Otter, Wim van Harten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is a persistent variation in cancer outcomes among and within European countries suggesting (among other causes) inequalities in access to or delivery of high-quality cancer care. European policy (EU Cancer Mission and Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan) is currently moving towards a mission-oriented approach addressing these inequalities. In this study, we used the quantitative and qualitative data of the Organisation of European Cancer Institutes’ Accreditation and Designation Programme, relating to 40 large European cancer centres, to describe their current compliance with quality standards, to identify the hallmarks common to all centres and to show the distinctive features of Comprehensive Cancer Centres. All Comprehensive Cancer Centres and Cancer Centres accredited by the Organisation of European Cancer Institutes show good compliance with quality standards related to care, multidisciplinarity and patient centredness. However, Comprehensive Cancer Centres on average showed significantly better scores on indicators related to the volume, quality and integration of translational research, such as high-impact publications, clinical trial activity (especially in phase I and phase IIa trials) and filing more patents as early indicators of innovation. However, irrespective of their size, centres show significant variability regarding effective governance when functioning as entities within larger hospitals.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMolecular Oncology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • accreditation
  • clinical trials
  • comprehensive cancer center
  • multidisciplinarity
  • quality standard
  • translational research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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