What it is about

  • a joint endeavour to co-design, co-create and implement solutions
  • main tool to achieving the objectives of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Beating Cancer Plan and the EU Green Deal

Target groups

  • Stakeholders along the whole cancer control continuum, from prevention of risk factors to survivor support and end-of-life care, for all ages and cancer types. This includes rare and poorly understood cancers, cancers in children, adolescents/young adults and the elderly, cancers in socially or economically vulnerable families and among people living in remote areas, across all Member States
  • Citizens, civil society organisations, public authorities and policy-makers
  • Academia, research and innovation players, and other relevant stakeholders

Focus areas

  • Prevent what is preventable
  • Optimise diagnostics and treatment
  • Support quality of life
  • Ensure equitable access to healthcare

Goal supported by 8 objectives to be achieved by 2030

Objective 1: Improve the understanding of cancer

Target: 500,000 cancer-healthy tissue paired samples available in the platform with complete clinical outcome data

  1. Establish the ‘’ platform by 2023 (2021-2023)
  2. Better understand healthy versus cancer cells at individual and population level (2021-2028)
  3. Better understand cancer-patient molecular, cell, organ, organismal interactions (2023-2029)
  4. Determine the role of genetics in cancer (2024-2030)
Objective 2.1: Prevention including screening and early detection (prevent what is preventable)

Target: At least five new health promotion and prevention strategies developed, which are tailored to the needs of vulnerable populations

  1. Develop a one-stop cancer information centre on prevention (2022-2025)
  2. Boost research and innovation into risk assessment (2024-2027)
  3. Conduct implementation research on cancer prevention (2022-2030)
  4. Establish synergies on prevention with other missions (2023-2026)
Objective 2.2: Screening and early detection

Target: At least five validated early detection methods ready to be included into screening programmes.

  1. Optimise and improve access to existing screening programmes (2024-2029)
  2. Develop new methods and technologies for screening and early detection (2021-2026)
  3. Develop early predictors/tests (2025-2030)
Objective 3: Optimise diagnostics and treatment

Expected outcomes: A clinical trial network throughout the EU-27 to support the sustainable conduct of academic trials.

Suggested targets include: 90% of eligible cancer patients have access to CCIs by 2030.

  1. Support the creation of a network of Comprehensive Cancer Infrastructures (CCIs) by 2025 (2021- 2025)
  2. Develop twinning programmes (2024-2028)
  3. Develop a clinical trial programme on diagnostics (2023-2027)
  4. Develop a clinical trial programme on treatments (2022-2023)
Objective 4: Support quality of life

Expected outcomes include:

  • A better understanding of unmet needs of cancer patients, survivors and their families;
  • Better supportive and end-of-life care and counselling, thereby reducing societal costs and achieving better quality of life with a focus on cancer patients, survivors and their families;
  • Better access to supportive and end-of-life care and counselling services throughout the EU-27;
  • Creation of innovative jobs and growth in the area of supportive care and counselling, including for food, sports, services, diagnostics, med-tech and pharmaceutical industries;
  • One living lab set up in each Member State to discuss ‘quality of life with cancer’ metrics for regular surveys by 2030.

Suggested targets include:

  • All Member States report on the QoL survey by 2023;
  • Better supportive and end-of-life care and counselling, with reduced societal and financial costs, achieving better quality of life for at least 50% of cancer patients, survivors and their families throughout the EU-27 by 2030.
  1. Collect and analyse data on today’s unmet needs of cancer patients and survivors (2021-2025)
  2. Set up of the European Cancer Patient Digital Centre (2021-2023)
  3. Develop early predictors for quality of life (2024-2030)
  4. Design monitoring programmes for survivors of childhood cancer (2021-2027)


Funding will be made available from Horizon Europe, EU4Health, and from other public sources (e.g. European, national, regional and local levels of funding) as well as from private investments.

Selection process

Similarly to the Horizon Europe selection process, initiatives to be funded via this mission will be selected based on calls for projects published in Work Programmes.

Supporting documents

Beating cancer plan

Proposed Mission

Implementation Plan

Cancer : concrete solutions for our greatest challenges

Contact us

The first calls for proposals with topics specifically related to the missions will be published by the end of 2021. Luxembourg organisations interesting in being involved are welcome to contact the Horizon Europe National Contact Point at Luxinnovation for further information, advice and support.