UNCAN.eu: an initiative to federate Member States against cancer

The UNCAN.eu final event took place on November 14th where the strategic roadmap of how the implementation of a European Federated Cancer Research Data Hub should be developed was presented to the European Commission.

UNCAN.eu is one of the European Commission’s Cancer Mission flagships projects and the delivery of its blueprint got great attention from the Members of the European Parliament and Policymakers as well as the Scientific community. Some of the attending speakers were the European Commissioner for Health and Food safety, Stella Kyriakides, Member of the European Parliament Tomislav Sokol, Belgium’s health minister Franck Vanderbroucke, the Vice-Chair of the Cancer Mission Board Prof. Christine Chomienne, and the Chair of CCI Europe Committee, Anita Kienesberger, who represented the voice of the paediatric cancer patients.

The Blueprint for UNCAN.eu proposes to set up a European Federated Cancer Research data hub and generate a series of use cases, addressing major challenges in cancer research.

UNCAN.eu research areas include Cancer prevention, Early diagnosis, Sensitivity and Resistance, Survivorship, Paediatric cancer and Cancer and Aging.

Image credit: Claire Antoine/Nouvelle Vague

UNCAN.eu will utilise existing, relevant research infrastructures and invest in the development of models and technologies to study poorly understood cancers. It will pool expertise and relevant players from Europe and beyond.

In this project CCI Europe had a role in representing childhood cancer patients and making sure that a central role is given to patients and patient advocates in preparing the roadmap to UNCAN.eu network, from identification of scientific and medical challenges to address through use cases to the network organisation and its governance.

patient engagement in UNCAN graphic
Patient engagements in UNCAN.eu

Image credit: Claire Antoine/Nouvelle Vague

In the Blueprint CCI Europe has given recommendations on maintaining a permanent dialogue with patients and citizens within UNCAN.eu network. Integration of patients’ and citizens’ expectations in the definition and evaluation of the cancer research portfolio would allow fine-tune research towards patients’ impact and unmet needs.

Effective patient engagement will promote the dissemination of knowledge in the cancer field, where patients and citizens would contribute to translate both the generated breakthroughs and the dead routes in understanding cancer.  Active patient and citizen engagement could also help reducing social discrimination toward cancer patients.

The building of an UNCAN.eu platform would allow high-quality cancer research data to be generated by experimental model analysis and collected from longitudinal follow-up of cancer patients to be shared and integrated at an unprecedented scale. This information will be used to address urgent and essential scientific and medical challenges in cancer prevention, early diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship.

The resulting UNCAN.eu platform will help meet the objectives of both the Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan and the Mission on Cancer, while ensuring the active involvement of cancer patient advocates in shaping the cancer research in Europe.

More information about 4.UNCAN.eu can be found at the Project’s website: https://uncan.eu/