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One year of ESMO Open: Cancer Horizons—where are we going from here?
  1. Christoph Zielinski
  1. Department of Medicine I and Comprehensive Cancer Center, Medical University of Vienna–General Hospital, Vienna, Austria
  1. Correspondence to Professor Christoph Zielinski; christoph.zielinski{at}

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When European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) former president Rolf Stahel called me on this memorable evening of September 2015 asking me whether I would be willing to become the editor-in-chief of the newly founded internet-only open-access journal named ESMO Open: Cancer Horizons (the latter addition being an invention during an animated talk with the current ESMO president Fortunato Ciardiello) and when I heard myself say, “well, of course, with pleasure; honoured to serve ESMO which has been ‘my’ society and in the centre of my attention for many years”, I did not fully realise what was going to happen and what was going to follow, mainly a breathless development and most wonderful endeavour and experience in setting up a new journal.

SETTING UP A NEW JOURNAL! This meant meeting and talking to countless people to set up the structure and function of the Journal (first of all: thank you, Lewis Rowett and Henry Spilberg), generating a concept on what the Journal would be standing for, understanding the potential of an internet-based publication (thank you, Anna Berghoff), attractingmost importantly!papers (thank you, Jean-Charles Soria for supporting us via Annals of Oncology), inviting friends who would be willing to write in an as yet unknown journal (thank you, all!, particularly Matthias Preusser who also serves as associate editor, for mobilising many ‘young oncologists’ to contribute), defining associate editors and putting together an editorial board and, finally, releasing the first issue which would be worthy of having the ESMO logo on it.

From this moment on, we have managed over 125 submissions from 23 countries, and published over 70 papers online including original research, review articles, editorials and commentaries. Reviews related to exciting issues (particularly regarding clinical decision-making under particular circumstances, including such diverse fields like hepatic1 or renal2 dysfunction, or cancers occurring in pregnancy)3 and original papers (like the ones by Orditura et al 4 or Kiesewetter et al 5) drew remarkable attention from the readership, having been downloaded 4944 and 1818 times, respectively, contributing to a total and constantly increasing download of ESMO Open papers, totalling 62 963 (figures as of 31 October 2016). In addition, we have published eight podcasts by Anna Berghoff with important leaders in oncology on various issues, but particularly concentrating on reports about news generated during important meetings. These podcasts have been listened to by more than 2380 readers of ESMO Open. Finally, two educational videos on the importantly evolving field of immuno-oncology are downloadable from the homepage.

All this has led to the acceptance of the Journal by PubMed Central in a record time of 10 months after the publication of the first issue, and the honourable selection of ESMO Open as the journal where ESMO and American Society of Clinical Oncology have published their Global Curriculum6 (downloaded 3306 times within 12 weeks of its publication). Furthermore, the Journal has been also associated with the Italian Society of Medical Oncology and the Chinese Society for Clinical Oncology. It is more than a great joy to report here the association of a third society with ESMO Open which is the Korean Association for Clinical Oncology (KACO). An agreement between KACO and ESMO relating to this issue was signed by the two presidents, Professor Im and Professor Ciardiello, on 16 December 2016. KACO is one of Korea's leading non-profit medical oncology organisations and globally engaged through its national and regional networks. KACO has 891 members as of July 2016 and consists of tumour specialists that pursue patient-centred multidisciplinary treatment and is dedicated to supporting knowledge on clinical oncology as well as exchanges and collaboration of clinical oncologists to improve the quality of treatments for patients with cancer.

But as President de Gaulle said, “only change is the guarantee for stability”; thus, we are developing forward at high speed by planning to establish supplements of very certain topics, devoting our attention to the situation of oncology in various countries, as ESMO is expanding more and more regarding the distribution of its members across the world, including the introduction of the annual ESMO Asia meeting. Finally, we want to draw our attention to training in tricky questions in oncology by introducing a ‘Do’s and don’ts’ section.

Thus, the situation of the Journal after 1 year of its existence is excellent, and the ESMO leadership stands firmly behind its development, for which I have to thank them very warmly. You all are most cordially invited to submit your work to ESMO Open: Cancer Horizons. You might consider that the Journal offers you a very broad potential readership not only by its inclusion in PubMed Central, but also due to the unrestricted access via the internet which can also be used to further accentuate the point you want to make in your publication by including relevant links.

In the end, please allow me to thank the entire team from ESMO (I have mentioned Lewis Rowett, but also particularly Vanessa Pavinato from ESMO Communications, and Katharine Fumasoli from ESMO Membership for guiding us through the woods of intersociety relations) and the editorial and production staff at BMJ who worked excellently to make all this possible, the ESMO presidency and the ESMO leadership, Matthias Preusser and Anna Berghoff and the entire team of associate editors and members of the editorial board, all reviewers, Andres Cervantes for providing updates on recent important scientific publications, Wolfgang Wagner for taking care of the ‘Cancer and the Arts’ section and all contributors of manuscripts and, finally, the readers and followers of ESMO Open: Cancer Horizons on Twitter (@ESMO_Open).


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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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