ESP - EORTC collaboration to focus on fellowship and research programmes

In the era of precision medicine, patient eligibility for clinical trials is frequently based on histological and molecular tumor profiling. Central pathological review of primary diagnosis is often prerequisite for trial entry, especially in trials for rare tumor patients. In addition, central review for tumor regression grade assessment is required, whenever this is used as a surrogate endpoint to expedite the trial. 

Smaller scale, pivotal, biomarker driven studies are gaining acceptance among cancer clinical researchers and are gaining preference over large phase 3 trials. Here, with these targeted trials, it is often the pathologist who confirms biomarker positivity for patient registration. Validation of companion diagnostics is integrated in a number of EORTC trials and is often assisted by pathologists at the central laboratories. 

Quality assessed clinically annotated biobanks with longitudinally collected information for optimized patient access are essential to therapeutic biomarker-driven clinical trials and new biomarker discovery. Pathologists are responsible for assessment of sample quality at entry and for maintaining the long term integrity of the EORTC associated biobanks. Quality assurance of biobanks and some of the preanalytical and analytical methods are safeguarded by EORTC Pathobiology group with the assistance of the translational research team at EORTC HQ. 

Given the crucial role of pathologists at EORTC trials, ESP and EORTC have developed a scientific initiative focusing on cancer clinical research and fellowship programs.


ESP - EORTC Fellowship Programme

In light of the fact that pathology and pathologists play an increasingly important role in clinical trials, especially in the field of medical oncology, the EORTC and ESP invite young pathologists to apply for a joint ESP-EORTC Fellowship.



  • Become an active participant in research programs leading towards biomarker discovery and validation
  • Work in close collaboration with key opinion leaders in the EORTC Pathobiology Group and in the EORTC/ESP network.


  • Participation in the organization and conduction of pathology reviews in EORTC trials
  • Participation in the development of pathology related study documents (guidelines, CRFs etc.)
  • Participation in the development of recommendations, guidelines for pathological procedures in collaboration with ESP
  • Scientific research toward publications about pathology practice in EORTC trials

Interested? Please visit:


EORTC-ESP Pathology Research Fellow

In light of the fact that pathology and pathologists play an increasingly important role in clinical trials, especially in the field of medical oncology, the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) and the European Society of Pathology (ESP) invite young pathologists to apply for a joint ESP-EORTC Fellowship based at the EORTC research facility based in Brussels.

The main objective of the ESP – EORTC Fellowship is to study and report about pathology practice in the framework of EORTC trials and to provide support for studies with a pathology component.

The fellowship is for a duration of one year and renewable up to a maximum of three years at EORTC Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.

Candidates must:

  • be resident or board certified pathologist
  • be a member of the ESP
  • have a focus or interest in cancer clinical research
  • preferably have clinical research background
  • be fluent in English
  • be computer literate
  • be able to work in an international environment
  • have excellent communication skills and team spirit
  • be under 35 years old

Candidates must send:

  • a letter of motivation
  • a full curriculum vitae
  • the list of their areas of interest
  • letter of recommendation from two referees


Saïda Jinah
EORTC Fellowship Programme
Avenue E. Mounier 83 b/11, 1200 Brussels, Belgium
Phone: +32 27741650

ESP - EORTC Fellowship Press


2017 ESP-EORTC Joint Fellowship Awards

Meet the 2017 ESP-EORTC Joint Fellowship Awardee, Dr Maria Urbanowicz:

Dr. Maria Urbanowicz

My name is Maria Urbanowicz and I am the new ESP-EORTC pathology fellow. A medical specialist in Pathology, I graduated from the University of Medical Sciences in Poznan, Poland and did my specialty at the 12 de Octubre University Hospital in Madrid, Spain.

This is the just the beginning of my Brussels adventure, at the EORTC and I look forward to contributing with my expertise to clinical research programs. I chose this fellowship program because I am open to new experience and I like challenges. As my routine work as an assistant consisted of reviewing biopsies, I believe that for a pathologist, being involved in clinical research is a totally new experience.

This is a big change for me and I will be doing my best to put my knowledge and experience into practice to the EORTC projects. This fellowship is a fantastic learning opportunity for which I am extremely grateful. I think it is important for a pathologist to get a broader vision concerning research activities and to grasp the role played by diagnosis in clinical trials and the importance of a detailed assessment and accurate diagnosis of samples for a successful clinical study.

I hope to make the most of my stay in Brussels! ”

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