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Funding the fight against cancer: a closer look at opportunities linked to the ECPDC

2nd July 2024 at 11:20 am

According to the latest EUROSTAT data, cancer was responsible for 21% of all deaths in the EU in 2021, making it the second leading cause of death. Despite this frightening number, personalised medicine and precision oncology have demonstrated significant potential to improve cancer survival rates. These approaches heavily rely on access to personal health data from patients, survivors, and their families and can only be successful if cancer patients and survivors have a good quality of life and the right tools to manage their journey, including participating in treatment decision-making and relevant research.

What is the European Cancer Patient Digital Centre (ECPDC)?

As a first step towards a patient-centric, data-driven approach to dealing with cancer and to increase the quality of life of patients and survivors, the EC assigned the Berlin Institute of Health at Charité Berlin to deliver a study providing an operational concept for a European Cancer Patient Digital Centre (ECPDC) to achieve the Cancer Mission’s fourth objective: “Quality of life for patients and their families”. The Implementation Plan of the Cancer Mission, released in 2021, outlined four core goals for the ECPDC:

The European Cancer Patient Digital Centre as described in the Implementation Plan of the Cancer Mission

During the study, which was conducted between December 2022 and August 2023, researchers developed an operational concept that assesses the potential of utilising existing and planned federated infrastructures at the EU and Member States’ level to contribute to an ECPDC. The Executive Summary of the ECPDC operational concept has recently been published by the European Commission and foresees the following three complementary concepts that outline how to build national ECPDC nodes. The concepts are consistent with regulatory requirements and coherent with the objectives of the Cancer Mission and Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan:

Through the proposed ECPDC portal, patients and survivors would be able to access their own clinical data, deposit clinical and patient-reported health data in a standardised, ethical, and interoperable manner, and securely share their data with healthcare professionals and researchers.

Two more Cancer Mission call topics to support the ECPDC!

With the blueprint now in place, to the EC has launched two new call topics for project proposals to be submitted by 18 September 2024 that support the establishment of the ECPDC:

Call TopicType of actionBudget
(€ million)
Expected funded projectsCluster(s)Specific details
HORIZON-MISS-2024-CANCER-01-02Support dialogue towards the development of national cancer data nodesCSA31‘Understanding’ and ‘Quality of Life’
HORIZON-MISS-2024-CANCER-01-06An information portal for the European Cancer Patient Digital CentreIA121‘Quality of Life’TRL 5-7 by the end of the project

These are in addition to four other topics, all of which are part of the Cancer Mission Work Programme 2024, and for which there is still plenty of time to prepare a proposal:

Set to begin the proposal writing journey? We are right there with you!

At accelopment, we understand that writing a Cancer Mission proposal is a complex endeavour and are ready to support you every step of the way. Thanks to our 100% success rate scoring 15/15 on our two submitted proposals, ThermoBreast and GLIOMATCH, we have key knowledge to address the Cancer Mission specifics and enable the success of clustering activities in your project. With our extensive track record of Horizon Europe Health projects, including COVendGENEGUTEDiHTAMyPath and EU PAL-COPD, and our Horizon 2020 Health initiatives, such as AI-MindENVISIONEURO SHOCKEXIMIOUS and VANGUARD, we are ready to guide you in this exciting venture. Contact us, and let’s join forces to submit a successful proposal!

Dr. Eva Avilla Royo
Research & Innovation Project Manager