The Mission Board of the EU Mission on Cancer has defined Comprehensive Cancer Infrastructures as ‘national or regional infrastructures that provide resources and services to support, improve and integrate cancer care, research, training of care professionals and education for cancer patients, survivors and families/carers.’
Today, the level of development of Comprehensive Cancer Infrastructures and their capacities, such as their digital, research and innovation-related capacities, vary considerably across Member States and Associated Countries, leading to inequalities, in particular in terms of research, quality and access to care.
The Horizon Europe Mission on Cancer will complement the set-up across Member States and several Associated Countries of an EU network of Comprehensive Cancer Centres that will be established through the Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan by 2025. The Mission aims to achieve the target of ensuring that 90% of eligible cancer patients have access to Comprehensive Cancer Infrastructures by 2030. In that context, this topic should set up, across Member States and several Associated Countries, a capacity-building programme for countries of the EU network of Comprehensive Cancer Centres to be established through the Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, to support them in improving or developing their existing or future Comprehensive Cancer Infrastructures, focussing on developing their digital, research & innovation-related capacities and their integration with cancer care.
Proposals under this topic should aim at delivering results that are directed at and contributing to all of the following expected outcomes:
- Research and health policy makers will benefit from support to further develop or set up Comprehensive Cancer Infrastructures, leading to improvement in terms of research and access to care;
- Research and healthcare professionals will benefit from a better integration between research and care;
- Researchers will benefit from innovative infrastructures to perform research and participate in studies;
- Citizens, including patients and their caregivers will have enhanced access to screening, diagnostics and treatments, improved care pathways and more integrated care. Their involvement and participation to clinical trials will be facilitated.
Building inter alia on the work carried out in several joint actions, the work of organisations in the area of accreditation and certification, the work that will be carried out under the Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, as well as existing and potential future mappings, a capacity-building programme should be set up for Member States and several Associated Countries in the EU network of Comprehensive Cancer Centres, to be established through the Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, in order to help them develop or further improve digital, research & innovation-related capacities of future or existing Comprehensive Cancer Infrastructures.
Proposals should address all of the following:
- The capacity-building programme should be organised over the course of three years, with at least one training session taking place in each Member State and those Associated Countries in the EU network of Comprehensive Cancer Centres, to be established through the Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan. In the planning of the capacity-building programme, sufficient time should be allocated to ensure proper follow-up and implementation of the recommendations provided to the participating countries.
- Each training session shall be tailored to the needs of the participating country. These needs shall be identified and discussed with the participating country prior to the session. This concerns in particular the required participants / stakeholder groups, duly reflecting health and research system specificities.
- The capacity-building programme should start in countries with no existing Comprehensive Cancer Infrastructure, followed by those with some existing Comprehensive Cancer Infrastructures but needing substantial improvement, and then support the further development of Comprehensive Cancer Infrastructures in countries with an already established system.
- The training sessions shall consist of balanced theoretical and practical parts, including simulations, case studies, group exercises, mutual learning exercises and on-the-spot visits (when possible) to gather practical experience.
- At the end of each training session, a report shall be produced indicating the areas identified for improvement and suggesting recommendations and a follow-up for the participating country. This should include information on available EU (funding) instruments as well as any other suitable sources of support for the areas identified for improvement.
- After the initial session, the project should provide an on-demand support service to the participating country(ies) to ensure proper follow-up and support for the implementation of the recommendations provided.
- Proposals should consider, as part of this follow-up, to invite the country to participate to a supplementary and more focused session. The possibility of a twinning activity with another country which is more advanced on the areas identified for improvement should be explored as part of this follow-up.
- Proposals should consider including the following areas of development or improvement of future or existing Comprehensive Cancer Infrastructures in their capacity building activities:
- Enhanced involvement in and quality of scientific research, including development and participation to clinical trials and epidemiological studies (e.g. clinical trial design, process of trial approval, ethical aspects, recruitment, staffing and training requirements including digital skills, organisational aspects, regulatory requirements, core facilities, patient participation and empowerment (in the planning and implementation of patient-oriented cancer research);
- Better integration between research and care programmes;
- Improvement of patient care pathways and integrated care;
- Development and use of indicators (e.g. quality, outcomes) and registries;
- Implementation of quality assurance and related standards;
- Support in accreditation and certification;
- Networking capacities (within and across Member States), including through improvement of data exchange capacities (e.g. interoperability and data protection related aspects);
- Gender-related aspects (with respect to representation in research and career pathways and any other relevant aspects).
- At the end of the capacity-building programme, an overall report shall be produced, highlighting transferable best practices and lessons learned from the capacity-building programme and the support provided.
Due consideration should be given to other relevant EU-funded initiatives. This capacity-building programme should be built and conducted in full synergy and complementarity with the actions foreseen under the Europe‘s Beating Cancer Plan, with the Commission acting as a facilitator.
The funded action should build upon resources made available by the Knowledge Centre on Cancer.
Furthermore, the project funded under this topic is strongly encouraged to participate in networking and joint activities with other ongoing projects under the mission on cancer and other cancer relevant projects, as appropriate. These networking and joint activities could, for example, involve the participation in joint workshops, the exchange of knowledge, the development and adoption of best practices, or joint communication activities. This could also involve networking and joint activities with projects funded under other clusters and pillars of Horizon Europe, or other EU programmes, as appropriate.
The Commission may facilitate Mission-specific coordination through future actions. Therefore, proposals should include a budget for the attendance to regular joint meetings and may consider covering the costs of any other potential joint activities without the prerequisite to detail concrete joint activities at this stage. The details of these joint activities will be defined during the grant agreement preparation phase and project duration. In this regard, the Commission will take on the role of facilitator for networking and exchanges, including with relevant initiatives and stakeholders, if appropriate.
EOSC and FAIR data
In particular, preparatory activities to establish National Comprehensive Cancer Centres and EU Network linking these Centres, preparatory activities to establish an EU Network of Expertise on Cancers and Cancer Conditions, Action on "EU Cancer Treatment Capacity and Capability Mapping" see work programme for 2021 for EU4Health Programme at https://ec.europa.eu/health/system/files/2021-06/wp2021_annex_en_0.pdf
Joint Action on Cancer Control, European Partnership for Action against Cancer, Innovative Partnership for Action Against Cancer and Joint Action on Rare Cancers
For instance OECI, ECC
In particular, preparatory activities to establish "National Comprehensive Cancer Centres and EU Network linking these Centres", Preparatory activities to establish and "EU Network of Expertise on Cancers and Cancer Conditions", and the actions "EU Cancer Treatment Capacity and Capability Mapping" as well as "EU Cancer Inequalities Registry", see work programme for 2021 for EU4Helath Programme at: https://ec.europa.eu/health/system/files/2021-06/wp2021_annex_en_0.pdf
For instance, the future European Partnership on Transforming Health and Care Systems (https://ec.europa.eu/info/research-and-innovation/funding/funding-opportunities/funding-programmes-and-open-calls/horizon-europe/european-partnerships-horizon-europe/candidates-european-partnerships-health_en)
In particular, preparatory activities to establish "National Comprehensive Cancer Centres and EU Network linking these Centres". Preparatory activities to establish an "EU Network of Expertise on Cancers and Cancer Conditions" and the "EU Cancer Treatment Capacity and Capability Mapping", see work programme for 2021 for EU4Health programme at: https://ec.europa.eu/health/system/files/2021-06/wp2021_annex_en_0.pdf. Applicants are not expected to contact these initiatives before the submission of proposals.
Especially through the "European Guidelines and Quality Assurance Schemes for Breast, Colorectal and Cervical Cancer Screening and Diagnosis" and the "European Cancer Information System (ECIS)", see https://knowledge4policy.ec.europa.eu/cancer_en