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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.

A photo of a man with sun painted with sunscreen on his body

Advancing women's health through scientific mobility

A Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship grant has enabled an ambitious young French researcher to make important advances in identifying a possible genetic association between endometriosis (when tissue that normally grows inside the uterus grows outside) and a higher risk of developing melanoma, a skin cancer.

 

Read more cancer research success stories