The Steering Committee is composed of a wide range of experts in the field of oncology, internal medicine, nuclear medicine, radioligand therapies, patient advocacy, who have the vision of politically institutionalising the topic in future and ongoing EU policy initiatives.

SPARC-Europe's Steering Committee consists of seven members and is strongly supported by the MEP Patrons.

Steering Committee Members

Mark McDonnell

Mark McDonnell

International Neuroendocrine Cancer Alliance

Mark McDonnell is the current President of INCA, a global umbrella organisation advocating for patients with neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) and genetic syndromes (GenNETs), representing 29 organisations across 6 continents. A key priority in INCA’s work is creating common platforms and working in collaboration with medical communities to fulfill the informational needs of patients, ensure access to the highest standards of care and facilitate patient involvement in research.

Mark is a NET patient himself and is the co-founder and chair of the national patient support and advocacy group for NET patients in Ireland, NET Patient Network. He has worked on a series of disease awareness campaigns and advocacy projects within Ireland. As the former Chair of INCA's Access Committee, Mark oversaw INCA's SCAN project, the largest global survey of NET patients and caregivers (Survey of Challenges in Access to Diagnostics and Treatments for NET Patients), which has been widely disseminated and published at all the major medical conferences around the globe.

Mark is a software engineer and founder of a technology company. He strongly believes in patient engagement with research, health service delivery, the pharmaceutical industry and all stakeholders where cancer treatments and diagnostics are designed, developed and delivered.

Prof. Ignasi Carrió

Prof. Ignasi Carrió

Autonomous University of Barcelona, Research Institute, Hospital Sant Pau

Professor Carrió graduated in Medicine in Barcelona, specialised in Oncology and Nuclear Medicine, and followed post-doctoral studies at the Department of Radiology, Harvard Medical School and Nuclear Medicine Division at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He has been Director of the Department of Nuclear Medicine at Hospital Sant Pau in Barcelona and Professor of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, where he is currently Emeritus Professor of Medicine.

His main research and scientific activity have been in Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging. Scientific publications include over 300 articles and 6 books. Prof. Carrió has been recipient of many grants funded by national and international bodies and has given lectures and participated in panels and scientific events on Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging all over the world. Prof. Carrió has been President of the European Association of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (EANM, 2005-6) and Editor-in-Chief of the European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (EJNMMI, 2004-18).

Dr Nicola Fazio

Dr Nicola Fazio

European Institute of Oncology

Born in Campobasso, Italy, on 18-May-1963, Nicola Fazio graduated from the University of L’Aquila, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery in 1988.

In 1993, he received a specialisation in Internal Medicine, in L’Aquila, and in 2003, in Oncology. In 2013, he obtained a PhD in Digestive Oncology.

Currently, he is Director of the Division of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology and Neuroendocrine Tumors and Director of Program in Digestive and Neuroendocrine Tumors at the European Institute of Oncology, where he has been working since 1995.

Since 2015 he is head of the IEO ENETS Center of Excellence for GEP NETs

He has been serving as ESMO Faculty Coordinator for Neuroendocrine, Endocrine and CUP for the period 2016-2019

He served as co-chair of ESMO NEN Preceptorship in 2017, 2018, and 2019 editions.

He served as co-chair of the first ESMO NEN Advanced Course in 2019 and he will co-chair the 2021 edition.

He was coordinator of Italian (AIOM/ITANET) neuroendocrine neoplasms guidelines for the period 2013-2019.

He was a member of the ENETS Advisory Board for the period 2015-2019 and in 2019 he was elected Advisory Board Chairman. In 2020 he was elected executive committee member.

Prof. Ken Herrmann

Prof. Ken Herrmann

University Hospital Essen

Prof. Dr. Ken Herrmann, MBA graduated from Charite Berlin Medical School in 2004 including electives and ERASMUS exchanges in France, Switzerland, Chile and the US. In 2011 he completed the executive MBA program at Universität Zürich, Switzerland. Professor Herrmann completed his residency and his habilitation in Nuclear Medicine at Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München. In 2011 joined as Visiting Assistant Professor and was later promoted to tenure track Associate Professor in the Ahmanson Translational Imaging Division of the Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). From 2012 to 2016, he served as Vice Chair of the Department of Nuclear Medicine at Universitätsklinikum Würzburg. Since 2016 Professor Herrmann acts as Chair of the Department of Nuclear Medicine at the Universitätsklinikum Essen. He also is currently the Chair of the EANM Oncology & Theranostics Committee and Section Editor of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine.



The European Society for Paediatric Oncology (SIOPE)

Dr Mark Gaze has been a consultant clinical oncologist at University College London Hospitals and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, UK since 1993. His particular areas of expertise include the management of cancer in children and young people with all forms of radiation treatment, including molecular radiotherapy. He runs a portfolio of clinical trials in this area.

Mark qualified from Saint Bartholomew's Hospital and undertook specialist cancer training in Edinburgh and Glasgow. His MD research was on the targeted radiotherapy of neuroblastoma, a subject in which he maintains a strong clinical and research interest.

He is an active member of the European Paediatric Soft Tissue Sarcoma Group (EpSSG), and the International Society of Paediatric Oncology Europe Neuroblastoma Group (SIOPEN), and previously chaired their radiotherapy committees. He is past chair of the Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG), and currently President-Elect of the Paediatric Radiation Oncology Society (PROS). He is a member of the UK Administration of Radioactive Substances Advisory Committee (ARSAC), the Intercollegiate Standing Committee on Nuclear Medicine and the Molecular Radiotherapy Consortium steering group. He has a major interest in postgraduate medical education, and has published a number of textbooks and chapters, in addition to a wide range of peer reviewed scientific articles.

Prof. Martyn Caplin

Prof. Martyn Caplin

Royal Free Hospital

Martyn Caplin is Professor of Gastroenterology & GI Neuroendocrinology at the Royal Free Hospital and University College London, UK.

He leads The Royal Free ENETS Center of Excellence, including research programmes into neuroendocrine tumors.

He was a founding member ENETS in 2004 and was elected Chairman from 2014 - 2016. He now serves on the ENETS Advisory Board.

He is founder and Past-Chairman of the UK & Ireland Neuroendocrine Tumour Society (UKI NETS) and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from UKI NETS.

He is Past-Chairman of National Cancer Research Institute NET group.

He is currently Chairman of the European Union Reference Network for Rare Cancers Neuroendocrine Tumor Group (EURACAN G4 NET) and is a patron of the NET Patient Foundation.

He has published over 200 peer-reviewed papers, written multiple book chapters, and co-authored two books.

André Deschamps

André Deschamps

Europa Uomo

Born in Maaseik, Belgium, on 5 September 1949, André Deschamps took several management positions in manufacturing companies (mainly in automotive components) in Europe and the US after his studies in chemical engineering and for an MBA. As an experienced manager, he is driven by the quality of work and the right balance between economic and human factors.

Together with his wife Lut, he was the owner of a consultancy company specialised in sustainable manufacturing and Chain of Custody certifications, until his retirement in 2014. More than 1500 companies made use of their expertise.

At the age of 51, Deschamps was diagnosed with prostate cancer and had a radical prostatectomy. From then on, he developed an interest in the way cancer patients are treated by the medical staff, in the quality of life of patients and in prostate cancer treatments.

In 2011, Deschamps joined Wij Ook, a Belgian society supporting prostate cancer patients and raising awareness of prostate cancer. Two years later, he was elected chairman.

In 2014, Deschamps was elected as a board member of Europa Uomo, the voice of men with prostate cancer in Europe. He served as a board member and treasurer before being elected chairman in June 2018.

Deschamps has been married with Lut since 1973. He’s the father of two kids and a six-time grandfather.

Dr Luka Ležaić

Dr Luka Ležaić

University of Ljubljana

Luka Ležaić MD PhD works as head of diagnostic imaging and therapy of the Department for Nuclear Medicine at the University Medical Centre Ljubljana, Slovenia and is an Assistant Professor in Diagnostic Imaging at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana. He initially specialized in internal medicine, holding a specialist degree from 2009 and further specialized in nuclear medicine, holding a specialist degree from 2015. He defended his PhD thesis in nuclear medicine imaging in 2010. He attended a fellowship in PET/CT imaging at the Institute of Nuclear Medicine, University College Hospital, London, UK in 2010 and was involved in research of novel therapies for advanced heart failure as a Fulbright scholar at the Cardiovascular Institute and the Departments of Radiology and Medicine of Stanford University in 2014. His clinical and research interests are molecular imaging in oncology and cardiovascular medicine and radionuclide therapy.

Prof. Dermot O'Toole

Prof. Dermot O'Toole

Trinity College Dublin

Dermot O’Toole is Professor of Gastroenterology and Clinical Medicine at Trinity College Dublin (TCD, The University of Dublin) and Consultant Gastroenterologist at St James’s and St. Vincent’s University Hospitals Dublin, Ireland. He graduated from TCD and has postgraduate degrees from TCD and the Universities of Paris and Angers. His major research interests include gastrointestinal cancer biology, especially in neuroendocrine tumor (NET)-related diseases and early GI neoplasia (Barrett’s oesophagus, gastric and colorectal cancers). Professor O’Toole is Clinical Lead for the national NET group. He has served on the Executive Committee of the European Neuroendocrine Tumor Society (ENETS) and is current Vice-Chairman of ENETS, helping to develop guideline papers and standards of care initiatives in the field of NET. He is Past Chair of the ENETS-driven European Centers of Excellence programme. He has been involved in many national and international research activities in GI oncology and is a member of several professional bodies in Europe and North America, serving as advisor to national health-care projects as well as patient advocacy groups.

MEP Patrons

Helmut Geuking

Helmut Geuking


Helmut Geuking is a German politician who has been serving as a member of the European Parliament since 2019, representing the Family Party of Germany.

He is currently a member of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee, the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee, and the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly delegation.

MEP Geuking trained as a nurse at Abbey of Tilbeck/Havixbeck from 1990 to 1993 and was a Permanent Member of the District Nursing Conference at Coesfeld District Council from 2014 to 2019. His interest, therefore, lies in enhancing the role of nurses in the EU, as well as improving healthcare systems.

In addition, Helmut Geuking is the Chair of the European Expert Health Group, which brings together MEPs with a wide array of experience in the medical sphere from across the political spectrum.

Marian-Jean Marinescu

Marian-Jean Marinescu

EPP, Romania

Member of the European Parliament since January 2007, Marian-Jean Marinescu is currently the coordinator of the EPP Group for transport policies and Chair of the European Parliament's Sky and Space Intergroup 2019 - 2024.

During the past legislatures, MEP Marinescu was vice-president of the EPP Group, chair of the EPP Working Group "Budgets and Structural Policies", coordinator of the EPPS working group for the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027.

In the 2019-2024 legislature, Marian-Jean Marinescu is member of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN), Special Committee on Beating Cancer (BECA), substitute member of Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), Committee on Budgetary Control (CONT) and Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI).

Brando Benifei

Brando Benifei

S&D, Italy

Brando Benifei, European Federalist, is one of the youngest MEPs, recently re-elected for a second mandate, and is from La Spezia, Italy.

He is the Head of Delegation of the Italian S&D MEPs.

His main areas of work are Internal Market and Consumers Protection, Employment and Social Affairs, and Constitutional Affairs.

He is rapporteur for the Single Market Program and shadow rapporteur for the European Social Fund Plus. He is active on youth policies, digitalisation and rights of persons with disabilities.

In the previous term, he was responsible for the European Solidarity Corps, for the Post-Arab Spring in the MENA region and for key reports on the social inclusion and integration of refugees into the EU labour market, as well as youth employment policy such as the Youth Guarantee and the Youth Employment Initiative. He was also co-chair of the Youth Intergroup and vice-chair of the Disability Intergroup.

In 2018, he received the MEP Award for his work on Employment and Social Affairs issues, for his work on youth unemployment. In 2016, Forbes included him in its annual 30 under-30 most influential in EU Politics list.

Observers to the Alliance

Josep Maria Borrás

Director, Catalonia Cancer Strategy

SPARC-Europe Secretariat

Emily Phillips

Emily Phillips

Associate Consultant, RPP Group
Carmen Salvador Arnau

Carmen Salvador Arnau

Associate Consultant, RPP
Kinga Wójtowicz

Kinga Wójtowicz

Senior Account Director, RPP Group