Non-communicable diseases are the most prevalent cause of death worldwide. Cancer
- accounts for more deaths in people under 65 in the EU than any other disease and
- affects 1 in 2 people during their lifetime and 1 in 5 will die of it.
- Cancer cost the EU almost €97 billion in 2018.
However, over 40% of cancers might be preventable through healthful diets, physical activity, smoking cessation, lowering alcohol consumption and reducing environmental pollution. Earlier diagnosis and optimal treatment can lead to increased cancer survival and quality of life of the patients.
Vision and ambition
The Knowledge Centre on Cancer’s overall vision is to provide the independent, scientific/evidence-based information, as well as the systems, portals and platforms, to support EC initiatives and actions on cancer, such as the Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan and the Cancer Mission in particular those related to cancer prevention, estimating cancer burden and providing European guidelines on cancer screening, diagnosis and care.
Why an EC Knowledge Centre on Cancer?
All cancer-related activities inherently contain a wide array of scientific and technical components. These can benefit from proper coordination at EC level so as to deliver an aligned EU approach to tackling cancer.
Such scientific and technical tasks need to be performed by an entity with unquestionable competence, which is politically neutral and which upholds its independence of commercial, private and national interests.
This is why on 05 February 2020, Commissioner Gabriel endorsed the new Knowledge Centre on Cancer and entrusted the Joint Research Centre (JRC) to be in the lead of Scientific and Technical tasks.
The Knowledge Centre on Cancer complements the activities of the European Commission department for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE)’s Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan and the recommendations of the Horizon Europe’s (2021-2027) programme of the Mission on Cancer.
Governance and resources
The Knowledge Centre on Cancer is governed by the European Commission departments for Science and Knowledge Joint Research Centre (DG JRC), for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE), and for Research and Innovation (DG RTD). It is resourced and operated by the JRC. It proactively informs both partners (e.g. Inter-service Cancer Group) and stakeholders (e.g. the Cancer Mission Board) about recent developments. It forms/dissolves specific partner or stakeholder groups as deemed necessary for progress.
Networking and collaboration
The JRC collaborates with over one thousand external organisations, thereby keeping its finger on the pulse of the latest science and technology. This encompasses organisations working on cancer prevention, cancer registry information (including rare cancers) and healthcare guidelines and quality assurance for cancer screening, diagnosis and care.
The JRC collaborates with partner DGs, working transversally across Commission services. Within the JRC alone, some 14 units are working on cancer(-related) activities and throughout the Commission, some 14 DG are already working, either directly or indirectly, on cancer.
The Knowledge Centre on Cancer will help connect the scientific and technical components of all these activities and leverage an evidence-base for synergetic planning, coordination, execution and monitoring of EC actions and programmes.
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