The effective implementation of the EU cancer research strategy has been the focus of the European Cancer Research Summit, which took place in Porto in May 2021 and mainly discussed the requirements for distributed and interconnected infrastructures needed to support research on cancer therapeutics, care and prevention.
The European Cancer Summit and the resulting Porto Declaration on cancer research stemmed from the previous ‘Europe: Unite against Cancer’ Declaration that was signed by the consecutive German, Portuguese and Slovenian EU presidencies in October 2020, with the aim to outline future directions for cancer research and care throughout Europe.
Cancer accounts for more deaths than any other disease in the age group of below 65 in the EU. While this geographical area is home to less than 10% of the world’s population, it collects 23% of all cancer cases.
On average, only one in two cancer patients survive, and one in two of us will face cancer in our lifetimes. In economic terms, cancer cost the EU almost €97 billion in 2018.
In the coming decades, several factors, including the EU’s ageing population, will see that all numbers and costs increase unless serious action is taken, such as doing more on prevention, early detection, quality of care, and more.
In the context of Horizon Europe, both the Cancer Mission and Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan (EBCP) have highlighted the impactful commitment of policymakers to unite European countries in their efforts to substantially reduce the enormous cancer burden.
The common aim is to decrease mortality and improve patients; health‐related quality of life by promoting cost‐effective, evidence‐based best practices in cancer prevention, treatment and care.
Addressing these challenges will require concerted actions across the whole cancer research/care/prevention continuum that spans from basic and preclinical research to clinical and prevention research and outcomes research.
In this landscape, policymakers, academic researchers, patient representatives, and pharmaceutical industry members presented their unified views about the future of cancer research and discussed key goals and action points at the European Cancer Research Summit 2021.
These discussions are crystallised in meeting report, which provides an overview of current developments in the European cancer policy landscape and summarises the specific recommendations of key cancer-research stakeholders for effectively implementing a European Cancer Mission.
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