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MCCR Workshop Testimonials

Access to the exclusive ECCO-AACR-EORTC-ESMO Workshop on Methods in Clinical Cancer Research is highly competitive, but the 80 successful applicants live a very rewarding experience which will help them in their career. “No doubt, this was a challenging but at the same time rewarding experience. By participating in the workshop, I realized that dedication, passion and team work are indispensable to develop a successful career in clinical research” commented George Papaxoinis from Manchester on his MCCR participation. Stefan Sleijfer, one of the Workshop Directors, adds “having attended the Workshops several times as a faculty member, I noticed that everyone experiences this course as I did as a student in 2004. This is a once in a life time experience where you will learn how to perform clinical research in a unique environment with highly motivated students and top clinical researchers”.

Here below you can read more testimonials from former MCCR workshop participants with a specialisation in surgical oncology:


Eva Madsen

Erasmus MC – Cancer Institute Surgical Oncology, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Colleagues told me that I should really try to get into the MCCR Workshop because it was fantastic but that it would be hard work. They lied about none of that!
The first day started with lectures from experts in the field, the entire faculty was introduced and I could not believe the amount of expertise that had gathered in the quiet woods of Zeist! The protocol development sessions were great because everyone had time to listen and discuss each other’s protocols while the faculty had critical comments that were of great value in improving the protocol. It was very useful for me to learn about the other participants' protocols and see which steps they took regarding different hurdles that had to be taken in their protocols. The faculty was always willing to get into more detail outside the PDG's and the 'meet the expert' sessions. It was great that they were available all through the day AND night and that they were very easy to access.

Read more here.


Thomas Klikovits

Medical University of Vienna, Surgical Oncology, Vienna, Austria

I want to thank ESSO for giving me the opportunity to participate in the ECCO-ESMO-AACR-EORTC MCCR 2016 by supporting me with a fellowship grant.

The application for the workshop was highly competitive and only 80 international young scientists were given the opportunity to participate and develop their submitted protocol in clinical cancer research. Since the workshop was organized by four worldwide leading oncology societies, the faculty consisted of highly respected leading oncologists of all disciplines and the daily lectures were on a very high scientific level. Within these lectures, participants could gain and improve their knowledge in clinical cancer research in a very interactive way with stimulating discussions. In small group discussion sessions, we could discuss and further develop our specific protocol with extensive review from the faculty.

Read more here.


Duveken Fontein

Leiden University Medical Center, Department of Surgery, Leiden, The Netherlands

Dr Duveken Fontein, a young surgical fellow participated in Flims 13 in 2011, talks to about her unique experience at the Workshop. She describes it as ‘one of the best courses’ she has attended and an excellent platform for networking.

Watch the video


Paul Sutton

University of Liverpool, Surgical Oncology, Liverpool, United Kingdom

It was a pleasure and a privilege to have received support from the European Society of Surgical Oncology to attend the 17th Flims Methods in Clinical Cancer Research course in June 2015. The course was held in a unique location, perfectly allowing a true retreat from other professional and personal commitments to focus absolutely upon the acquisition of new research skills, the development of a trial protocol and meeting new friends and colleagues.

My trial focused on the surgical management of stage IV colorectal cancer, and I was fortunate to receive a great deal of assistance in the development of this protocol not only from my mentors but the entire faculty and other members of the group. I’d like to thank ESSO again for their support in enabling me to attend. It was without doubt a unique experience and one of the best professional courses I’ve ever had the opportunity to attend. I look forward to updating the Society on the progress of my surgical trial.


Carmela Caballero

EORTC Medical Department, Surgical Oncology, Brussels, Belgium

“Participating in this Flims Workshop is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and a life-changing experience for you. Use it to develop research that will change practice and truly help your patients”. This was the core message from Professor Johann de Bono, one our mentors during the workshop. These were challenging words for me, a beginner in the field of surgery and cancer research.

However, during the 5-day workshop, the reality of his statement became apparent as every mentor in our group hammered to all fellows the value of defining clearly the research question, the appropriate method to answer the question and the benefit for the patients of asking this question. The protocol I developed during the workshop was using diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging to assess metastatic colorectal cancer to improve surgical planning. With sincere gratitude to EORTC and ESSO, I express my commitment to accomplish the project I submitted to the workshop and contribute to the further development of high quality surgical research through the course of my career.

Bas Groot Koerkamp

Erasmus MC Cancer Institute, Rotterdam, The Netherlands 

The workshop “Methods in Clinical Cancer Research” has been a great opportunity for me to develop a clinical trial protocol in just one week with the support of the experienced and dedicated faculty. Moreover, I appreciated the intensive interaction with many bright and enthusiastic fellows who I am sure will be the future leaders in clinical cancer research.

My study proposal involved a phase III trial of adjuvant hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy after complete resection of colorectal liver metastases in patients with node-negative colorectal cancer. This trial will require close collaboration of medical and surgical oncologists. The protocol matured during the workshop thanks to thoughtful feedback from the experienced faculty, including medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, and statisticians. Daily lectures on the methodology of clinical cancer research provided me insights and skills in everything from phase I trials to quality of life evaluations.

Hein Handgraaf

Leiden University Medical Center, Surgical Oncology, Leiden, The Netherlands

The Methods in Clinical Cancer Research Workshop 2015 was without a doubt one of the most valuable and educational workshops I have ever participated in. The combination of dedicated faculty members striving to help together with fellows from diverse backgrounds and the unique location really made a difference.

Especially worth mentioning are the many statisticians who are available to help designing the statistical sections. My study proposal involved a phase I trial on an intraoperative tumour-targeted imaging agent. The faculty members and especially my mentors were determined to help me deliver a complete and detailed protocol. It is a week of hard work, but all this gave great satisfaction. The obtained knowledge and experience was not only helpful for my study protocol, but will be of lasting value during the rest of my career.

George Papaxoinis

Christie Hospital NHS, Surgical Oncology, Manchester, United Kingdom

It was a great pleasure for me to attend the 17th Workshop on Methods in Clinical Cancer Research. No doubt, this was a challenging but at the same time rewarding experience. I had to work many hours every day, but on the other side this workshop deeply influenced my point of view in several aspects of clinical research. By participating in this workshop, I realized that dedication, passion and team work are indispensable to develop a successful career in clinical research.

I had also the great opportunity to interact with experts in every field who are leading cutting edge research in every field. Also, the lectures were engaging and opened our minds to a different way to understand and deal with clinical trials. The workshop not only gave a clearer understanding of the concepts of clinical cancer research, but also offered the rare opportunity to implement my knowledge and create a real clinical trial protocol.

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