Horizon Europe

Horizon Europe: Cancer

Read on to learn about the Horizon Europe mission area, Cancer.

Background and aim

What are missions and mission areas?

EU missions are commitments to solve major societal challenges like fighting cancer, adapting to climate change, protecting our oceans, living in greener cities and ensuring soil health and food.

As integral part of the Horizon Europe framework programme beginning in 2021, they are a new way to deliver on these commitments.

Each mission will operate as a portfolio of actions – such as research projects, policy measures or even legislative initiatives – to achieve a measurable goal that could not be achieved through individual actions. The missions will contribute to the goals of the European Green Deal, Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan as well as the Sustainable Development Goals.

About the Horizon Europe mission area ‘Cancer’

Europe has less than 10% of the world’s population, but a quarter of all cancer cases worldwide. Therefore, cancer is a major societal challenge in Europe.

The goal of the Horizon Europe Cancer mission is to reverse the trend of increasing numbers of newly diagnosed cancer patients through supporting research that aims to understand, prevent, and optimise diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The mission will address all types of cancer in all phases, including rare cancers, cancers in children, adolescents, adults and older people. Additionally, the mission wants to contribute to providing survivorship support and end-of-life care across the European Union.

The mission is: “By 2030, more than 3 million lives saved, living longer and better”. This will be achieved by:

  • Increasing our knowledge about cancer
  • Preventing what is preventable
  • Optimising diagnosis and treatment
  • Supporting the quality of life of all people exposed to cancer
  • Ensuring equitable access to the above all across Europe

Cancer Mission Calls

HORIZON-MISS-2022-CANCER-01-03: Pragmatic clinical trials to optimise treatments for patients with refractory cancer (RIA)

Subsidy: €4-6M

Funding rate: 100%

Deadline: 07 September 2022

Duration: No limit; up to 4 years is recommended

Total Budget:   €60M

Consortium: At least three legal entities established in different Member States or Associated Countries


Proposals should address all of the following:

  • Design and conduct randomised or cluster-randomised academic investigator-initiated pragmatic clinical trials to deliver effective and evidence-based treatment interventions for implementation by healthcare systems at the level of local communities, EU Regions, Member States and Associated Countries, taking into account socio-economic and biological stratification, such as biology of the disease, gender, cancer stage, and age.
  • The chosen treatment intervention(s) should be adapted to the particular needs of the target population and to the specificities of the provision of care at local, regional, or national level, duly reflecting the diversity across Member States and Associated Countries. Furthermore, affordability and accessibility should be taken into account.
  • The successful proposals will address treatment interventions for patients with refractory cancers (cancers with a 5-year overall survival of less than 50% from time of diagnosis) at any stage of the disease, for any cancer subtype, in any age group or part of society.
  • The successful proposals should clearly justify and describe the evidence supporting the chosen treatment intervention.
  • The primary and secondary endpoints of the pragmatic clinical trial should target overall survival, patient-preferred clinical benefit, patient-reported outcomes and quality of life issues considered important by and for cancer patients and their caregivers. Such endpoints should be defined together with patients and their caregivers through research models that use open knowledge, (social) innovation systems and support end-user engagement (e.g. living labs).
  • Implementers of pragmatic clinical trials and trial results should include physicians, academia, patients and their caregivers, patient representatives, payers, charities and foundations, research organisations, civil society, regional and national research and innovation organisations, and health authorities.
  • Successful pragmatic clinical trials, including their analyses, should be completed within 5 years after the start of the project. Translational research is not within the scope of this topic.
  • In all instances, sex- and gender-related issues must be taken into account. All data should be disaggregated by sex, gender, age and other relevant variables, such as by measures of socio-economic status.

Read more about this call


HORIZON-MISS-2022-CANCER-01-01:  Improving  and  upscaling  primary  prevention of cancer through implementation research (RIA)

Subsidy: €3-8M

Funding rate:   100%

Deadline: 07 September 2022

Duration: No limit; Up to 4 years is recommended

Total Budget:   €50M

Consortium: At least three legal entities established in different Member States or Associated Countries

Scope: Investments  are  needed  to  establish,  scale-up  or  improve  primary  cancer  prevention programmes  and  underlying  barriers  that  prevent  their  uptake  and  effective  implementation should  be  identified  and  addressed.  Also,  primary  cancer  prevention  programmes  should  be tailored  to  the  particular  needs  of  the  chosen  target  populations,  taking  into  account  socio-economic, cultural and geographical conditions.

Proposals should address all of the following:

  • Focus on implementation and upscaling of evidence-based primary cancer prevention interventions,  at  local,  regional  or  national  level,  addressing  known  risk  or  protective factors  and  determinants173.  Proposals  should  clearly  justify  and  describe  the  existing evidence supporting the chosen intervention, including evidence of cost-effectiveness and affordability, across health or other sectors.
  • As effective prevention includes behavioural change, due consideration should be given to the factors that facilitate or impede behavioural change.
  • Identify  and  address  the  bottlenecks  and  barriers  that  might  influence  uptake  and implementation of cancer prevention programmes in accessible, affordable and equitable ways, and their impact in a defined context.
  • Provide  evidence  and  recommendations  to  inform  policy  and  decision-makers  and proposing  a  pathway  to  integrate  the  intervention  into  local,  regional  or  national  health systems, policies and practices.
  • Applicants are expected to co-create with relevant stakeholders, including citizens, people at risk of cancer, patients, survivors, health practitioners, payers, and policymakers in the design  and  conduct  of  research  and  evaluation  of  its  outcomes.  Such  partners  will  be integral to the success and sustainability of the programme and it is essential that they are engaged early;
  • Proposals  should  align  with  commitments  or  planned  commitments  at  a  regional  or country level to implement evidence-based interventions. Researchers should collaborate closely  with  responsible  authorities.  The  latter  should  provide  the  interventions  and  the financial means;
  • Use approaches, methodologies and frameworks specific to implementation science, and based  on  appropriate  outcomes,  such  as  feasibility,  acceptability,  sustainability,  uptake and cost effectiveness.
  • The design of the proposed interventions should take the gender dimension and ethics into account, and contribute to reducing health inequalities.
  • The organisational and resource  requirements (data, personnel and financing) necessary for  the  implementation  of  the  intervention  must  be  tracked  and  evaluated  in  detail.  The research  and  system-wide  scientific  monitoring  should  allow  future  users  (researchers, healthcare  providers,  policy  makers,  and  the  public)  to  review  the  step-by-step,  partial outcomes  of  the  intervention,  thus  facilitating  a  wider  adoption  of  these  practices.  The appropriate contextual, financial and political-economy analysis should be provided.

Read more about this call


Read our blog post explaining the proposed mission, ‘Conquering Cancer: Mission Possible’

Learn more about Horizon Europe 

Visit the European Commission overview page for the Cancer mission area

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