Within the framework of Horizon Europe, five EU Missions aim to provide solutions to the major challenges facing Europe. One of these missions addresses the topic of "cancer".
Cancer poses major challenges for Europe's citizens and healthcare systems. Europe accounts for about 25% of all cancer cases worldwide, compared to only 10% of the world population. The number of people affected is expected to continue to increase against the background of an aging population, unhealthy lifestyles and unfavorable environmental factors.
What are the goals and approach of the Cancer Mission?
A body of experts, the Cancer Mission Board, has formulated a concrete goal: by 2030, the lives of 3 million people should be improved through prevention, cure and for those affected by cancer including their families, to live longer and better. To achieve this goal, the Mission Board made 13 recommendations that were developed with the involvement of citizens, patients and other stakeholders. These address the understanding of cancer, prevention, diagnostics and treatment, quality of life and access to care. The recommendations were elaborated in a report "Conquering Cancer - Mission Possible". Further papers and studies on the missionary approach can be found on the European Commission website.
How is the Cancer Mission implemented?
With the publication of the Communication from the Commission on European Missions and their implementation in September 2021 the EU Commission announced the official launch for the missions. The Cancer Mission's Implementation Plan sets out the key actions that will be implemented during the lifetime of the mission.
Horizon Europe offers concrete funding opportunities on the topic of cancer. These are advertised in a specific part of the work programme, the mission work programme, along with the calls from the other missions.
The mission work programme advertises specific calls for research and innovation measures. In addition, the European research and innovation partnerships, for example the Innovative Health Initiative, should contribute to the implementation of the cancer mission with specific tenders.
In order to achieve the ambitious goals of the Cancer Mission, however, measures beyond research and development are also required. Therefore, the Cancer Mission is closely coordinated with Europe's Beating Cancer Plan. The EU4Health program should also contribute to its implementation.