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Europes' Beating Cancer Plan

European Commission, Belgium

At the European Union level, 2020 will be an exciting year. In Brussels, the new Commission is up and running and is beginning to deliver on its key priorities, one of them being the “Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan”. On 4 February, World Cancer Day, the European Commission launched two public consultations on the plan to define the scope of a new law or policy, and to gather the views of the general public on the topic. Stakeholders, including patients, industry, policymakers and healthcare professionals are invited to provide their contribution and the results will be published by the end of the year.

SIP is proud to see that the overall objective of the Cancer Plan is to improve prevention, detection, treatment and management of cancer across the EU. It also looks to solve a range of issues including the lack of adequate healthcare models and skills for palliative care and pain management. The inclusion of such wording is the result of the work done by the SIP platform over the past ten years in raising awareness at both the national and European levels. This year we’ll take this opportunity to move from raising awareness to shifting attitudes and changing behaviour.

Besides this, a new delivery mechanism, which will be key to the Plan, is the Mission on Cancer of the new EU research programme Horizon Europe (2021-2027). The Mission will be guided by the Mission Board for Cancer which is in charge of identifying one or more specific missions for implementation under Horizon Europe and proposing concrete targets and timelines:

  • 3 September 2019: The mission board met for the first time
  • End 2019:Target for mission boards to identify the first of one or more possible missions in the area
  • In 2020: The mission board develops, together with stakeholders and citizens, the research and innovation activities that will contribute to the mission. These will be funded via the Horizon Europe work programme for 2021-2022.
  • 1 January 2021: The missions come into effect with the launch of Horizon Europe

SIP has often highlighted how EU funding programmes can offer opportunities to foster pain research and share success stories and challenges. For instance, in early January, the European Commission published a dedicated issue on pain "‘Why do people develop chronic pain" in “Horizon, the EU research & Innovation magazine “. The article contains information on two projects supported by the European Commission: “DoloRisk: Understanding risk factors and determinants for neuropathic pain” and “Cordis: Decomposition of pain into cell types”. Please read the full article in the Horizon 2020 online magazine.

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