Horizon Europe

Horizon Europe Mission Area: Cancer

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

Mission area: Cancer background and aim

What are Horizon Europe 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

Timeline of the mission area: Cancer

  • In September 2020, the Mission Board handed in the final recommendations to the European Commission
  • A preparatory phase to decide upon detailed actions, investment strategy and performance indicators began in November 2020 and lasted 12 months.
  • In the last half-year of 2021, the mission was officially launched and enter the implementation phase.


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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