Dear Friends and Colleagues,

On behalf of the SIOP Board of Directors, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you to our 53rd annual SIOP congress that will take place on-line from Oct 21st – 24th, 2021.  The Board made the prudent decision to continue with an entirely virtual format again this year, in order to give you all confidence in your planning. Despite the early signs that the COVID-19 pandemic can be brought under control, access to vaccination is not yet equitable across the world and the emergence of viral variants continues to impose travel restrictions.

This year’s congress will build on our successful experience in 2020, where we saw a 30% increase in total delegates from 134 countries and a doubling of the proportion attending from low- and middle-income countries. The virtual congress platform will be even better than last year’s, with more rapid access to ‘on demand’ viewing and greater interactivity. This will increase the accessibility of the congress content and enhance dissemination of your research to the global cancer community. Remember that the congress content remains accessible on-line for 3 months to all delegates.

We have all learnt new ways to interact and network during the past year. The SIOP 2021 congress will be the place to hear the latest research findings in our field and to catalyse new ideas, generated by the multi-disciplinary attendance for which we are renowned. Furthermore, the pre-congress Educational Day, with parallel sessions organised by the Local organising committee, SIOP Young Investigator, Nursing, Paediatric Psycho-oncology and Global Health (formerly PODC) committees provides an excellent forum to meet with your peers and hear about opportunities for networking and collaboration. Dr Lillian Sung who leads the SIOP Scientific Committee, has prepared an innovative programme of exceptional speakers and symposium topics that will appeal to you all.

The SIOP board acknowledges the tremendous support that we have received from the intended host cities of our congresses in 2020 (Ottawa) and 2021 (Honolulu). Their flexibility means that we can plan to return in person in 2023 and 2024, respectively.

The SIOP congresses provide a wonderful platform on which to present your own research and share knowledge and ideas. Together, we can accelerate efforts to improve cancer survival and quality of survival for children and young people all over the world.  See you at SIOP 2021!

Kathy Pritchard-Jones

SIOP President