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Open Science Monitor

4 February 2016
World Cancer Day: EU Research to Fight Cancer

Cancer is likely to remain one of the biggest killers of the 21st century. 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 Member States overtaking cardiovascular disease.

Under 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 – further financial support is being provided.  So far 272 projects have been funded for € 415 million.

In 2012 it was estimated that 3.45 million new cases were diagnosed and more than 1.75 million people died from cancer in Europe, making it one of the major health issues (see European Journal of Cancer). In recognition of this development, global research efforts to fight cancer have been ongoing since the 1970's to turn this disease into a chronic, instead of a fatal one.

Here are two examples of successful, EU-funded cancer research projects with a link to more below:

Picture of syringe and medicines

Understanding cancer progression to improve treatment

As Europe's population ages, cancer has become the leading cause of death. Therapeutic targeting - changing the activity of a protein or nucleic acid with a stimulus - is of limited use because of the complexity of cancer: changes take place within the tumour cell itself, but also in the cell's microenvironment. An EU-funded project will increase understanding of cancer progression and provide the basis for new, targeted approaches.

Picture of the men on medical examination

Targeted treatments for advanced-stage bowel cancer

The EU-funded MoTriColor project is seeking to develop novel therapies for advanced-stage bowel cancer patients by targeting treatments according to each patient's disease subtype.

 

Read more cancer research success stories