Cancer is likely to remain one of the most complex and expensive health issues of the 21st century in Europe and beyond. Cancer now accounts for a quarter of all deaths and is the number one cause of death for people aged 45-64 in an increasing number of EU countries, overtaking cardiovascular disease.
What the EU is doing
EU research efforts to fight cancer have been ongoing since 1985. These efforts support research to develop patient-oriented strategies to prevent, cure and/or live with cancer.
Using a personalised medicine approach, research ranges from prevention to
- more effective and earlier diagnosis
- biomarkers and drug discovery
- technology and disease models as well as effective cancer treatments
To improve people’s quality of life, EU-supported research also addresses.
- the causes and mechanisms that drive the progression of cancer
- metastasis of cancer to other parts of the body
- the translation of basic knowledge of treatment side effects into meaningful clinical strategies
- the development of devices and mobile health apps to improve healthcare for cancer patients undergoing treatment and those who have survived but face long-term health issues
- the support of clinical studies taking into account patient reported outcomes, testing new and cost-effective palliative care and end-of-life services
Other important issues related to cancer are also covered, such as.
- coordination of cancer research
- ageing and cancer
- childhood and adolescent cancers
- outcomes research at EU and national level
- psychosocial aspects of cancer
- quality designation
- big data and data sharing
Under the Seventh Framework Programme (2007-2013), about 1000 projects received funding totalling some €1.5 billion.
Under Horizon 2020 (2014–2020) the current EU framework programme for research and innovation, 640 projects so far have been funded for €900 million.
Read some of the success stories of EU funded cancer research
List item: Understanding cancer progression to improve treatment
List item: Breaking down barriers to develop new anticancer drugs
Breaking down barriers
List item: Advancing the treatment of melanoma
Treating of melanoma
Several projects funded by the EU aim to combat the many aspects of cancer.
List item: APERIM
Accelerating clinical translation and maximizing the accessibility and utility of biomedical data.
List item: ASSURE
Developing new tools to boost breast cancer detection.
List item: ATECT
Aiming to establish a novel immunotherapy for leukemia.
List item: BEYONDSEQ
Addressing the gap between cytogenetics and next generation sequencing
List item: CAREMORE
Improving treatment response in women with metastatic breast cancer.
List item: EPIFEM-CARE
Enabling early detection and prediction of therapeutic outcome in breast and ovarian cancer.
List item: GLAM
Developing a low-cost, minimally invasive device to monitor and diagnose genitourinary cancers.
List item: TACKSHS
Understanding and identifying public health policy solutions.
List item: ULTRAPLACAD
Bringing a radical change for the detection of colorectal cancer.