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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:

Two laboratory technicians at work

New tumour models could lead to more effective treatments

The incidence of cancer in Europe is increasing but many potential new drug treatments are found to be ineffective when tested on patients. An EU and industry-funded project has investigated new models of tumours to help researchers discover more effective treatments and boost survival rates.

Picture of woman with colorectal cancer

Better understanding of colon cancer to help guide treatment

EU-industry funded researchers have worked to identify and characterise signs of cancer, particularly colon cancers, and patients' responses to different types of treatment. The aim is to help doctors choose the best possible treatment for an individual patient's condition, potentially improving and saving lives.

 

Read more cancer research success stories