(Source: European Commission)
Today, the Commission is launching the Knowledge Centre on Cancer, the first Flagship action delivered under Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan. The Knowledge Centre is a new online platform to gather evidence and coordinate actions against the number one cause of death among under-65s in Europe. It will map the latest evidence on cancer, provide healthcare guidelines and quality assurance schemes, as well as monitor and project trends in cancer incidence and mortality across the EU. It is also a space where everyone invested in the fight against cancer can share best practices, collaborate, and coordinate to make the most of our collective knowledge and evidence-based science.
Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides said: “The launch of the new Knowledge Centre on Cancer is the first Flagship action of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan. With greater knowledge, we can better understand, prevent and treat cancer. Research and innovation is the starting point for a new approach to cancer care in the EU. Pooling and sharing the latest findings from cancer research, innovation and technologies, including on new personalised and digital solutions, is crucial to empower health and research authorities to better address cancer, and the Knowledge Centre will be at the centre of these actions.”
Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, responsible for the Joint Research Centre, Mariya Gabriel said: “From institutions to researchers, patient organisations to innovators, we must all join forces across society to beat cancer. Science can help us understand the disease and its risk factors, but to have a real impact we need that knowledge to reach the policies and interventions that will save lives. The Knowledge Centre on Cancer is a key tool to coordinate our efforts and make sure we use the best evidence available to win this fight.”
What is the role of the Knowledge Centre?
The Knowledge Centre on Cancer is an independent knowledge broker providing evidence-based support to policies, while expanding the Commission’s existing IT systems, gateways, portals, platforms and databases on cancer. It will:
- Map and provide the latest evidence and statistics on cancer;
- Monitor cancer trends so that the effectiveness of preventive strategies and screening programmes can be evaluated;
- Provide European guidelines for cancer prevention, screening, diagnosis and care to improve cancer outcomes and reduce inequalities between EU regions;
- Help shape policies for cancer prevention related to the environment and healthy lifestyles, including tobacco and alcohol control;
- Identify research or policy gaps;
- Provide a space to coordinate many cancer initiatives on one platform;
- Help to reduce inequalities in cancer prevention and care across the EU.
The platform hosts a reference point for policy making on prevention, through the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Knowledge Gateway. It also hosts the European Cancer Information System, and European guidelines and quality assurance schemes for cancer prevention, screening, diagnosis and care.
The Knowledge Centre is a Flagship initiative of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, a main priority in the area of health of the von der Leyen Commission and a key pillar of a strong European Health Union. The Cancer Plan is setting out a new and ambitious approach to reduce the burden of cancer in the EU, tackling the entire disease pathway, from prevention to quality of life of cancer patients and survivors, focusing on actions where the EU can add the most value. Furthermore, the foreseen Horizon Europe Mission on Cancer will be a major component of the EU’s investment in cancer research and innovation, informing many of the Cancer Plans key actions and delivering novel concepts for policy and innovative solutions for patients.
The Knowledge Centre on Cancer will help these initiatives succeed by identifying, aligning, planning and coordinating scientific and technical actions. This will lead to better prevention, improved screening for earlier detection and enhanced treatment and care – so we can all live healthier and happier lives in the future.
New guidelines on breast cancer screening, diagnosis and care
A first key deliverable of the Knowledge Centre is also launched today: the European Guidelines and Quality Assurance Scheme for Breast Cancer Screening, Diagnosis and Care. These patient-centric, evidence-based guidelines offer healthcare providers and women clear and independent guidance on the complete healthcare pathway for the number one cancer affecting women. They will help to reduce the incidence of breast cancer and tackle the avoidable inequalities in incidence, prevalence, mortality and survival rates between and within EU countries. The guidelines and accompanying quality assurance manuals are available online on the Knowledge Centre, and will be updated as and when new evidence becomes available.
Scientists from the Commission’s Joint Research Centre will manage the Knowledge Centre on Cancer. They are well placed to do so, with expertise both in leading other knowledge centres and in cancer. Their experience includes providing guidelines to improve screening, diagnosis and care, consolidating best practices for cancer prevention and unleashing the potential of cancer data to monitor and project the burden of cancer.
The Commission Knowledge Centres bring together experts, researchers and policymakers within and outside of the Commission to holistically frame policy questions and develop evidence-based answers.
The Knowledge Centre on Cancer is the 10th Commission Knowledge Centre and the 9th to be launched under the leadership of the Joint Research Centre. It adds to those that have already been established on Biodiversity, Bioeconomy, Earth Observation, Global Food and Nutrition Security, Territorial Policies, Migration and Demography, Disaster Risk Management, Food Fraud and Quality, and Interpretation (the latter of which is led by the Commission’s department for interpretation – DG SCIC).