World Cancer Day aims to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment. World Cancer Day is led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to support the goals of the World Cancer Declaration, written in 2008.
Since then, promising pre-clinical nano-medicine proof-of-concepts have been developed for the therapy of cancer, but their translation into clinical therapies remains a major challenge.
Significant efforts have been made to reduce the gap between technological advances and clinical applications. In the field of nanomedicines, the process is hindered by challenges in upscaling from the pre-clinical laboratory scale to the quantity needed for clinical testing.
There is also a need for demonstrator applications involving modelling, diagnosis, and therapy of human diseases of high and yet unmet medical need. The new devices should permit the simulation of body system processes under adverse conditions.
The European Health and Digital Executive Agency has contributed to these technological advances by supporting research and innovation projects through several programmes. Furthermore, in December 2021, HaDEA launched 3 calls for proposals under the Horizon Europe programme, to contribute to the swift implementation of the EU Cancer Mission. 12 projects were shortlisted for a total funding of €125.6 million.
Discover how some of the Horizon 2020 projects managed by HaDEA contribute to the detection and treatment of cancer:
- NoCanTher: it achieved the goal of starting a clinical study for testing nanoparticles against pancreatic cancer. The project focused on the translation of nanoformulations against pancreatic cancer to an early clinical development. NoCanTher worked to scale-up under Good Manufacturing Practices conditions and evaluate a nanoformulation based on magnetic nanoparticles for a combined therapy against this disease.
- CanPathPro: it focused on developing and refining bioinformatic and experimental tools for the evaluation of systems biology modelling predictions. CanPathPro built and validated a combined experimental and systems biology platform, which will be utilised in testing cancer signalling hypotheses in biomedical research and life sciences.
- Tumor-LN-oC: proposes the development and validation of tumour-lymph node-on-chip platform that will connect primary surgically removed human tumours and lymph node tissue from the same cancer patient. This will serve as a “biological twin” of the patient and will allow Tumor-LN-oC consortium to study the interaction of primary tumours with lymph nodes for individual patients.
Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation with a budget of €95.5 billion. It tackles climate change, helps to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and boosts the EU’s competitiveness and growth. HaDEA implements parts of Horizon Europe Clusters 1 (Health) and 4 (Digital, Industry, and Space). It was preceded by Horizon 2020.
The EU Cancer Mission aims to understand cancer and its risk factors, prevent what is preventable, optimise diagnostics and treatments, and support the quality of life of people living with and after cancer, while ensuring equitable access for all.
Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan (europa.eu)
Source: European Commission I European Health and Digital Executive Agency (https://bit.ly/40z3XiQ)