How the EU supports research and innovation on cancer

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. Cancer is likely to remain one of the biggest killers in the 21st century.

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.

Research in this area continues under Horizon Europe.

The past years have witnessed a dramatic progress in understanding the molecular mechanisms at work in the transformation of a normal cell into a cancer cell. Yet, our knowledge is still far from complete and much remains to be discovered.

Intensive collaboration between scientific, medical, technological and industrial communities is indispensable.

Research and innovation on cancer has been and remains a high priority for the EU.

Cancer has been designated as a mission area in the preparation of Horizon Europe, the next research and innovation funding programme.

Related documents

EU Research and Innovation in the fight against cancer (factsheet)

Fighting cancer through research (Infographic)

Melanoma skin cancer (Factsheet)

Funding opportunities

  • Horizon Europe

    Funding for health under the research and innovation framework programme, Horizon Europe. 

Collaboration and jobs

  • Find project partners

    Look for project partners and view profiles of all organisations that have received funding via the funding and tender opportunities portal.

  • European Partnership for Action Against Cancer (EPAAC)

    Partnership which brought together the efforts of different stakeholders into a joint response to prevent and control cancer. The partnership has now ended.


    EU-funded project - a collaborative network of ministries, funding agencies and research councils with programmes in translational cancer research 

  • Innovative Partnership for Action Against Cancer

    Brings together 24 associated partners (with affiliated entities, 44 partners) across Europe whose main objectives are to build upon deliverables of the Cancer Control Joint Action (CANCON) Joint Action and to implement innovative approaches to cancer control.

  • Cancer Control Joint Action (CANCON) 

    The CANCON guide is the result of this joint action of cancer experts in 25 countries which ended in 2017.

  • EU Joint Action on Rare Cancers (JARC)

    Framework for EU stakeholders and policy makers to set the agenda at national level and help provide diagnostics, healthcare and support to citizens who suffer from rare cancer.

  • Jobs (EURAXESS)

    Researcher jobs in related fields

Projects and results

Scientific publications, tools and databases

  • European Cancer Information System (ECIS)

    Latest data on cancer incidence and mortality in the EU

  • Horizon 2020 dashboard

    Interactive reporting platform, composed of a set of sheets that allows series of views to discover and filter Horizon 2020 data.

  • Scientific publications

    Scientific publications produced by the European Commission (JRC)

  • EU Open Data Portal

    Single point of access to open data produced by the EU institutions. All data free to use for commercial and non-commercial purposes.

  • OpenAIRE

    You can access all scientific publications from Horizon 2020 via OpenAIRE.


Related events


  • Research enquiry service

    You can contact the research enquiry service to find out more about research in Europe, the EU's research and innovation funding programmes as well as calls for proposals and project funding.  

  • National contact points

    The national contact points (NCP) network gives guidance and information on participating in Horizon 2020. NCPs are established in all EU countries and many non-EU countries.

  • European IP Helpdesk

    Service that offers an intellectual property rights helpline, training and online library.

  • Enterprise Europe Network

    The Enterprise Europe Network is the world’s largest support network for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with international ambitions. 

Related Commission departments