Colorectal Cancer Screening Summit – Together Driving Change and Saving Lives

Online, Nov 30, 2020, 9:00 am
CRC Screening Summit

Thank you to all the participants, excellent speakers and panelists at our ‘Colorectal Cancer Screening Summit – Together Driving Change and Saving Lives’. Together we are working to usher in a new era of collaboration on CRC screening, one where over 90,000 lives per year are saved. Event materials – slides and videos – available below per agenda point. Enjoy!


Time (CET)



9:00amWelcomeDora Constantinides, Chair of the Board of Directors, Digestive Cancers Europe

Stella Kyriakides, EU Commissioner for Health

Tamsin Rose, Event Moderator


Introduction Materials

Slides Dora Constantanides

Video Stella Kyriakides

Video Introduction Session

9.30amThe importance of CRC Screening, the current landscape & the challengesDr. Partha Basu, Head Screening Group, IARC


Slides Dr. Partha Basu

9:45amHow to increase participation ratesIris Seriese, Manager National Colorectal Cancer Screening Program, the Netherlands


Slides Iris Seriese


Comments from Panel 1 & discussion

Moderator: Tamsin Rose

Prof. Sylvain Manfredi, Deputy Secretary of the Francophone Federation of Digestive Cancer, France

Dr. Morten Rasmussen, Head of Intestinal Cancer Screening in the Capital Region, Denmark

Prof. Jaroslaw Regula MD, PhD. Coordinator of National CRC screening Programme Poland



Video Panel 1

10.30amHow to have an integrated campaign with all stakeholdersDr. Maria Isabel Portillo Villares, Coordinator Colorectal Cancer Screening Programme, Basque Region, Spain


Slides Dr. Maria Isabel Portillo Villares


Comments from Panel 2 & discussion

Moderator: Tamsin Rose

Dr. Carlo Senore, Centro Prevenzione Oncologica Regione Piemonte and Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria S Giovanni Battista di Torino, Turin, Italy

Prof Julius Špičák, Professor of Internal Medicine, Charles University Prague and Past President, Board of Society of Gastroenterology, Czech Republic

Dr. Tytti Sarkeala, Director of Screening, PhD Finnish Cancer Registry, Finland



Video Panel 2

11:15amBreak – Video
11:30amHow to make a long-term effort sustainableDr. Dominika Novak Mlakar, Head of the CRC Screening Programme, Slovenia


Slides Dr. Dominika Novak Mlakar


Comments from Panel 3 & discussion

Moderator: Tamsin Rose

Prof. Dr. Jürgen F. Riemann, FACP Founder and chairman of LebensBlicke Foundation for the Prevention of Colorectal Cancer Germany

Prof. Padraic Mac Mathuna MD FRCPI. Clinical Professor of Medicine Clinical Director BowelScreen, Ireland

Prof. Tomas Poškus,Professor of surgery of Vilnius University and Member of the coordination committee of colorectal cancer screening program, Lithuania



Video Panel 3

12:15pmLunch break

The way forward: how to collaborate and share best practices?

Comments from Panel 4 & discussion

Moderator: Tamsin Rose

Prof. Michal Filip KaminskiEuropean Chair of the CRC Screening Committee, World Endoscopy Organisation

Prof. Dr. Eric Van Cutsem, Head of Digestive Oncology, Leuven University Hospital, Belgium and Member of the Board of Digestive Cancers Europe

Valentina PolylasDirector, European Regional Health Authorities (EUREGHA)

Iris Lansdorp-Vogelaar Associate Professor at the Department of Public Health of Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, Netherlands, and representing EU-TOPIA



Video Panel 4


What can the European Union do?

Comments from Panel 5 & discussion

Moderator: Tamsin Rose

Dr. Ciarán NichollHead of Unit, Health In Society, Joint Research CentreEuropean Commission

MEP Ivars Ijabs, Vice-Chair of the European Parliament Special Committee on Beating Cancer (Renew, Latvia)

Prof. Dr. Stephen HalloranScreening specialist, Member of the Bowel Cancer Screening Advisory Committee, United Kingdom

Dr. Calin Bumbulut, President, European Union of General Practitioners (UEMO)



Video Panel 5

2:15pmThe role of patient organisations and citizen groupsStefan Gijssels, CEO, Digestive Cancers Europe


Video concluding remarks


The CRC Screening Summit Report

Speakers and Panelists


In order of appearance

Tamsin Rose – Moderator

Tamsin RoseTamsin Rose is a facilitator, speaker and trainer with an interest in sparking new ideas to address big societal challenges.

With three decades of experience in communications, and advocacy and network building, her clients range from small non profits to international institutions and everything in between.

She has led a European platform of public health NGOs, managed an EU programme to twin cities in west and eastern Europe , was a radio journalist and now connects citizens’ experiences with the Brussels policy bubble.


Dora Constantinides – Digestive Cancers Europe, Chair of the Board of Directors

   Please see Dora’s biography.


Stella Kyriakides – European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety

SteallKyriakisdes_Small1 December 2019, Ms. Kyriakides became the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety. In the area of health, she is leading the Commission’s work on Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, to help improve cancer prevention and care and is in charge of developing a new Pharmaceutical Strategy to ensure that Europe has enough affordable medicines to meet its needs.

Her responsibilities also include supporting Member States in improving the quality and sustainability of health systems, creating a European Health Data Space to promote health-data exchange and support research. She is also in charge of ensuring full implementation of the European One Health Action Plan against Antimicrobial Resistance and working towards a global agreement on antimicrobials.

On food safety, Commissioner Kyriakides is leading the new ‘Farm to Fork’ strategy for sustainable food, covering every step in the food chain from production to consumption. Her responsibilities also include ensuring enforcement of animal welfare laws and promoting European standards globally as well as ensuring enforcement of EU laws on food safety and animal and plant health and leading the work to protect plant health, reduce dependency on pesticides and support low-risk and non-chemical alternatives.

During the COVID-19 crisis, she has been leading the Commissions work to coordinate the EU’s health response and support Member States to tackle the outbreak. This includes working to ensure that essential goods and services can flow freely across borders, essential medicines and medical devices are available at affordable prices, and leading the EU’s efforts to secure access to safe and effective therapeutics and vaccines.

Previously, Ms. Stella Kyriakides worked as a clinical psychologist in the Mental  Health Services of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Cyprus in the area of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,  from 1979-2006. In 2006, she was elected to the Cyprus Parliament and was re-elected in 2011 and 2016 for the Democratic Rally party, of which she was the Vice-President.

In 2012, she was appointed Head of the Cyprus Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). In 2017 she was elected President of the PACE, thus becoming the 30th President of the Assembly.

She founded the First Breast Cancer advocacy organisation in Cyprus, Europa Donna – Cyprus where she served as President from 2000-2015. She was also President of the European Breast Cancer Coalition Europa Donna. She has received many awards in recognition of her relentless efforts and work in support of women’s rights, children and patients’ rights and had numerous publications, research contributions/articles on children related matters and cancer in Cyprus and other European countries.


Partha Basu, MD, PhD – Head, Screening Group, Early Detection & Prevention Section, International Agency for Research on Cancer, World Health Organisation

Dr. Partha Basu is Head of Screening Group of International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). He was Head of Gynecological Oncology at Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute, India before joining IARC in 2015.

Dr. Basu leads a wide range of collaborative research projects, which include: evaluation of a single dose of HPV vaccine; implementation and evaluation of novel approaches for ‘early diagnosis’ of breast cancers in resource-constrained settings; evaluation of new technologies in cancer early detection including spectrometric analysis of urine for HPV detection, automated ultrasound for detection of breast cancer and machine learning algorithms in cervical cancer screening; evaluation of effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of thermal ablation to treat cervical precancers;  demonstration projects to evaluate colorectal cancer screening in countries in economic transition; evaluating performance of cancer screening programmes in different using a harmonized set of indicators, etc.

These projects are funded by National Institute of Health (USA), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, American Cancer Society, Medical Research Council (UK), Norwegian Research Council, Swiss Cancer Research, Lalla Salma Foundation (Morocco), Indo-American Cancer Association etc. Dr. Basu is the leader of ‘a comprehensive learning program in cervical cancer screening and management’ being developed and supported by the newly established WHO Knowledge Academy.

Please see Dr. Basu’s publications for more.


Iris Seriese – Program Manager Dutch CRC Screening Program

Iris SerieAs the Manager of the Dutch Colorectal Cancer Screening Program Iris Seriese is responsible for the direction and coordination of various projects. She connects the network for further development of the program, considering the fields of finance, quality, information technology, monitoring and evaluation, as well as communication and innovation. Furthermore, she is the international representative of all Dutch cancer screenings (breast, bowel and cervix). All Dutch screening programs are offered by the government (MoH), the direction and coordination are in the hands of the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), and are executed by the Dutch Screening Organisations.

For more information you can see her Linkedin profile.


Jaroslaw Regula, MD PhD – Head, Department of Gastroenterology, Medical Centre for Postgraduate Education, Maria Sklodowska-Curie Memorial Cancer Centre

Jaroslaw RegulaProf. Jaroslaw Regula M.D., graduated at University Medical School, Warsaw, Poland  1981. Gastroenterology training completed 1992.  Research fellow at University College London, UK, 1992-93. Prof Regula developed his clinical research activities mainly in the field of colorectal cancer screening, endoscopic early diagnosis of digestive cancers, clinical and endoscopic aspects of Barrett’s oesophagus and diseases of the upper gastrointestinal tract. He serves currently as national coordinator of the colorectal cancer screening programme in Poland.

Past-president of the European Association for Gastroenterology, Endoscopy and Nutrition (EAGEN), board member of the European Society of Digestive Oncology (ESDO), member of the United European Gastroenterology (UEG) Education Committee as well as UEG General Assembly and European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ESGE) Research Committee and vice-president of the Polish Society of Gastroentereology. Principal research publications include two notable publications on colorectal cancer screening in the New England Journal of Medicine: 1) Regula J et al: Colonoscopy in colorectal-cancer screening for detection of advanced neoplasia. NEJM 2006;355:1863-72,  2) Kaminski MF, Regula J et al: Quality indicators for colonoscopy and the risk of interval cancer. NEJM 2010;362:1795-803.


Isabel Portillo, PhD – The Basque Country Colorectal and Prenatal Coordinator. The Basque Health Service

Isabel PortilloSince 2008 Isabel Portillo has been the Basque Country Colorectal and Prenatal Coordinator of the Basque Health Service. She is a Medical Doctor. (The Complutense University, Madrid) and specialized in Preventive and Public Health and has a PhD in Social Psychology from the The Basque Country University. From 1990 to 2008 her career included many posts in public health positions in primary care, quality assessment, direction and was responsible for the Congenital Anomalies Registry in the The Basque Health Service from 2004-2008.

Her research and international projects include:

  • Research Project leader and collaborator in several regional, national and international initiatives. Papers published in high impact journals about epidemiology surveillance, technologies assessment and programmes evaluation. ORCID: 000-0002-3871-3423.
  • Institutional collaborator in Joint Action European Projects (CANCON and IPAAC) and Horizon 2020 as EU-TOPIA


Carlo Senore MD, MSc, Coordinator, Piedmont Region Screening Program

Carlo SenoreCarlo Senore has a medical degree with a post-graduate degree in Internal Medicine from the University of Turin. Following this he gained a Master of Science, Epidemiology from McGill University in Montreal.

He currently runs the Piedmont Region Screening Program at the region’s university hospital ‘CPO Piemonte; AOU Città della Salute e della Scienza’ in Turin. This is following extensive experience in public health particularly related to cancer screening programs.

Since 2004 he has been a member of the faculty at the University of Turin, Medical School lecturing in evidence based medicine as well as being a part of the post-doctoral School of Oncology there. His research fields include:

  • Colorectal and breast cancer screening organisation and evaluation cancer screening compliance; comparative effectiveness of CRC screening strategies; health technology assessment; guidelines development; smoking prevention and control; cancer screening and healthy lifestyle promotion interventions (diet, physical activity and tobacco consumption).
  • Experience in design, implementation and analysis of randomized trials evaluating screening strategies, diagnostic technologies and primary prevention interventions, in the development of clinical guidelines and implementation of quality control projects aimed at assessing quality of treatment of colorectal cancer.


Prof. Julius Špičák – Professor of Internal Medicine, Charles University Prague and Past President, Board of Society of Gastroenterology, Czech Republic

Prof SpicakA medical doctor, Professor Špičák graduated from medicine in 1976 from the Charles University of Prague and completed his PhD there in 1992. Since 2008 he is Professor of Internal Medicine at the same university. Since 1995 he has been the Director, Department of Hepato-gastroenterology, Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Prague. His research interests include endoscopy, liver transplantation, acute and chronic pancreatitis and colorectal cancer screening. He is the author of over 200 papers, 12 books and numerous textbooks.


Tytti Sarkeala, PhD – Director of Screening at the Finnish Cancer Registry

Tytti SarkealaTytti Sarkeala, PhD (epidemiology), is a Director of Screening at the Finnish Cancer Registry. She is responsible for registration and evaluation of breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening programs in Finland. She has published several scientific papers on cancer screening and public health and works as a supervisor and tutor of MSc and doctoral students.


Dominika Novak Mlakar – Head of the CRC Screening Programme, Slovenia

Dominika Novak-MlakarDominika Novak Mlakar is a medical doctor with post-gradual specialisation in public health with emphasis on cancer screening. In 2006, she participated in the preparation of documents for the establishment of the colorectal cancer screening programme (Program Svit) in Slovenia and has been involved in the programme implementation at a national level since 2009. In 2017, she was nominated by the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Slovenia as the colorectal cancer screening programme director. She has published several scientific papers on cancer screening and public health.


Prof. Dr. Eric Van Cutsem – Head of Digestive Oncology, Leuven University Hospital, Belgium and Member of the Board of Digestive Cancers Europe

Please see Eric Van Cutsem’s biography


Iris Lansdorp-Vogelaar, Associate Professor at the Department of Public Health of Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, Netherlands, and representing EU-TOPIA

Iris Landsdorp VogelaarIris Lansdorp-Vogelaar is an Associate Professor at the Department of Public Health of Erasmus Medical Center (MC) and head of the research section on evaluation of screening for gastrointestinal disorders. She has been responsible for the management and development of the well-established Microsimulation Screening Analysis (MISCAN) models for the evaluation of cancer screening. She operates at the forefront of cancer screening worldwide, evidencing from 80 publications in top clinical journals in the past 5 years. Her work directly influenced cancer screening recommendations from the BMJ Rapid Recommendations Panel, American Cancer Society, and US Preventive Services Task Force, as well as US Medicare reimbursement decisions on CT colonography and stool DNA screening. In 2020, she received a career development award for her research contributing to the successful implementation of risk-based cancer screening.


Valentina PolylasDirector, European Regional Health Authorities (EUREGHA)

VaentinaPolylasValentina Polylas joined the European Regional and Local Health Authorities (EUREGHA) network on January 2018 as Director. She leads and manages the Secretariat and provides strategic advice to the Chair, the Executive Board and the General Assembly. She is responsible for the strategic planning process and advocacy campaign of EUREGHA. She also coordinates the network’s commitments within the European projects BOOST (H2020) and EURIPHI (H2020). Valentina represents EUREGHA externally by liaising with members, EU institutions, European networks and other relevant stakeholders. Prior to EUREGHA, she was Senior Policy Officer at the Emilia-Romagna Delegation to the EU.She is external lecturer on EU funding opportunities at the University of Perugia. Valentina holds a law degree from the University of Bologna as well as a LLM in International and European law from the University of Bologna and a M.A in European Studies from the University of Louvain-la- Neuve – Université Saint Louis.


Ciarán Nicholl, PhD – Head of Health in Society Unit, European Commission Joint Research Centre

Ciaran NichollCiarán obtained his PhD in cancer research at Heidelberg University, an MSc degree at Kingston University and Kings College Hospital and a BSc degree in Chemistry at Galway University.

He joined the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) as a post-doctorate fellow in 1995 and worked in JRC communications until 2012. In this period he oversaw nine JRC annual reports, 700 events including 3 open days (with over 25,000 participants) press media relations and web communications.

Since 2013, Ciarán is head of the Health in Society unit in the JRC’s Directorate for Health, Consumers and Reference Materials. Together with 45 staff, the unit is responsible for:

  1. The European Commission’s Initiative on Breast Cancer
  2. The European Cancer Information System and the European Network of Cancer Registries
  3. The EU Platform for Rare Diseases Registration which also hosts the European Central Registries for Congenital Anomalies and Cerebral Palsies
  4. Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Knowledge Gateway


Jürgen F. Riemann, Prof. Dr. – Director emeritus, Dept. Medicine C, Klinikum Ludwigshafen

Juergen RiemannJürgen F. Riemann studied medicine at the universities of Tübingen and Innsbruck and went on to become a prominent internal medicine and gastroenterological specialist. He is the founder and chairman of LebensBlicke Foundation for the Prevention of Colorectal Cancer and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the German Cancer Foundation. He is also the spokesman of the working group ‘Further Development of Colorectal Cancer Screening’ of the German National Cancer Plan.

He has also acted as President of a number of German medical societies including:

  • The German Society of Internal Medicine
  • The German Society of Gastroenterology, Digestive diseases and Metabolism
  • The German Society of Endoscopy and Imaging Techniques

He has published and lectured widely including approximately 500 publications and is the editor of the standard textbook ‘Gastroenterology’. His areas of research are colon cancer and health care research.


Prof. Padraic Mac Mathuna – MD FRCPI, Clinical Professor of Medicine Clinical Director BowelScreen, Ireland

Padriac MacMathuna1981 UCD graduate with training in Ireland, London and Boston in Gastroenterology. Appointed Consultant Gastroenterologist to Mater Misericordiae University Hospital in 1995.  Track record in clinical and laboratory research in areas from Colon Cancer biology, CT Colon Imaging, High Risk colorectal Cancer screening and endoscopic intervention. Research grant funding from  Irish Cancer Society, HRB and SFI. Appointed Associate Professor of Medicine in recognition of contribution to the postgraduate (Former Postgraduate Dean) and undergraduate academic activity of the Mater and UCD. A participant in the NCSS Expert Group on Hereditary Cancer Risk and currently Clinical Director of the NSS BowelScreen programme.


Călin Bumbuluț, MD – President, European Union of General Practitioners (UEMO)

Calin BumbulutAfter graduation at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy Iuliu Haţieganu in Cluj in 1995, Călin Bumbuluț followed the residency training in general medicine for adults and children, becoming specialist physician in family medicine in 1998, and senior physician in 2002.

Since 2001 he has been a trainer in family medicine, since 2000, certified in general ultrasonography, since 2004 in enterprise medicine, and since 2008 he has been trainer of trainers (ToT) in family medicine. He also lectures in several postgraduate training programs.

He has followed postgraduate training himself in electrocardiography, ultrasonography, pre-hospital emergency primary care and preventive priorities – adult and child, occupational medicine, screening for breast, cervical and colon cancer.

Currently he is a family physician and medical coordinator for a team of 4 doctors in a group practice. He has also been the President of Satu Mare Family Physicians Association since 2002, and the President of Satu Mare College of Physicians since 2011.

Since 2011 he has been the Vice-President of Romanian College of Physicians, and Coordinator of Professional, Scientific and Medical Education Department.

When Romania joined the European Union of General Practitioners/Family Physicians – UEMO, he became the head of the Romanian delegation; was elected as Vice-President in 2015, and in 2017 became the President for the mandate 2019-2022.

Since 2012, he has also been the head of the Romanian delegation to the European Union of Medical Specialists – UEMS.

He has published over 65 scientific articles as author or co-author.


Stefan Gijssels – CEO, Digestive Cancers Europe

  Please see Stefan’s biography.


More on CRC screening – about our Thematic Network

The Summit is along with the work we are leading in the Thematic Network on Colorectal Cancer Screening on the EU Health Policy Platform. Organised by the EU Commission, our Thematic Network has been connecting representatives of screening agencies, national ministries of health, patient organisations and cancer experts since March 2020 – the Screening Summit reinforces this work.

Thanks again for your involvement!

Do you have questions? Please contact us

Thank you to our event sponsors!


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