- The project Establishing of Cancer Mission Hubs: Networks and Synergies (ECHoS) aims to coordinate R&I and Healthcare actions on cancer, with policy-making processes, towards people-centric healthcare and research systems.
- The consortium brings together the leading expertise of over 50 governmental, healthcare, academic, and nonprofit organizations from 28 countries.
- National Cancer Mission Hubs (NCMHs) will be created in each country to engage a broad range of stakeholders from both public and private sectors in collaborative initiatives and policy dialogues on cancer, at national, regional, and local levels.
- Website soon available: https://www.cancermissionhubs.eu/
Cancer represents a global health challenge. It affects everyone regardless of gender, or even social status and is a tremendous burden for patients, families, friends, and societies. According to the European Cancer Information System, the incidence of cancer in Europe by 2040 is expected to increase by 20.96% and mortality by 31.76%. This means that if no further actions are taken, around 3.24 million people will be diagnosed, and 1.66 million people will die in Europe. In Romania, the mortality will increase by 13.6%.
Driving the Horizon Europe Mission on Cancer initiative is the ambitious goal to improve “the lives of more than 3 million people by 2030 through prevention, cure and for those affected by cancer including their families, to live longer and better”. This is also the driving force behind the project ECHoS, Establishing of Cancer Mission Hubs: Networks and Synergies.
ECHoS, a new, three-year European consortium supported by Mission on Cancer, will play a vital role in supporting the bold and inspirational goals defined by this European initiative. Bringing together the expertise of 58 leading organizations, from governmental, healthcare, research, academic, and non-profit sectors, this key consortium will ultimately provide member states and associated countries (MS/AC) with the capacity to create National Cancer Mission Hubs (NCMHs) gradually. These NCMHs, operating at national, regional, and local levels, will have a vital role in involving all relevant stakeholders, including citizens, in cancer-related policy dialogues.
“The fight against cancer can no longer be an isolated endeavor. Currently, research, innovation, and healthcare initiatives are largely siloed within specific communities and the engagement of citizens is either poor or non-existent,” said Dr. Anabela Isidro, member of the AICIB (Agency for Clinical Research and Biomedical Innovation in Portugal) board. “Supported by the European Beating Cancer Plan and the EU Mission on Cancer, cancer occupies a central place within the European political agenda. At the conclusion of the Conference on the Future of Europe, political leaders championed pan-European cooperation towards a Health in All Policies approach, and a data-informed, citizen-focused, research-driven agenda. The time to act is now.” She concluded.
Romania is represented by the Centre for Innovation in Medicine, which will collaborate closely with the consortium coordinators (AICIB) and leading experts across Europe, to establish a NCMH in our country. This combined effort will coordinate R&I and Healthcare actions on cancer with policy-making processes toward people-centric healthcare and research systems in ways that cannot be achieved through individual efforts and fragmented initiatives.
“The creation of national hubs of the Cancer Mission and their interconnection is a fundamental step for the Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan and the Mission’s action plan. The ECHoS project will generate in the next 3 years both models of governance and impact, as well as models of interaction with traditional and non-traditional stakeholders, but especially with citizens. Cancer Mission hubs must have real citizens at the center, start from their needs, and involve them in research, innovation, and implementation from the beginning and continuously. For this reason, the Cancer Mission is more than a mission that promotes cancer research, just as ECHoS is more than a European project – it is the beginning of a movement that involves 58 organizations from 28 countries, including the Centre for Innovation in Medicine”, said Dr. Marius Geanta, President of the Centre for Innovation in Medicine, and national coordinator of the ECHoS project. “Creating a National Cancer Mission Hub in Romania represents a key step towards strengthening the voice of national stakeholders in cancer policies in Europe.”
The recent COVID-19 emergency exposed the fragilities in health systems, halting research, arresting clinical trials, and forcing limited resource allocation to tackle these emerging needs. Still, it highlighted countries’ capacity to create functional synergies in health, policy, and research, successfully impacting the health scenario. With the Kick-Off Meeting occurring today, ECHoS will set the foundations for a strong and cohesive network of NCMHs among MS/AC aligned with the Mission on Cancer. ECHoS will break new frontiers, beyond established research and health systems, reaching from individual citizens to European Institutions, Civil Society, Social Sector, Academia, and Public and Private Sectors, improving the current landscape and setting a brighter future in cancer.