Key stakeholders from the cancer research continuum met in May 2021 at the European Cancer Research Summit in Porto to discuss priorities and specific action points required for the successful implementation of the European Cancer Mission and Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan (EBCP).
Speakers presented a unified view about the need to establish high-quality, networked infrastructures to decrease cancer incidence, increase the cure rate, improve patient’s survival and quality of life, and deal with research and care inequalities across the European Union (EU). These infrastructures, featuring Comprehensive Cancer Centres (CCCs) as key components, will integrate care, prevention and research across the entire cancer continuum to support the development of personalized/precision cancer medicine in Europe. The three pillars of the recommended European infrastructures – namely translational research, clinical/prevention trials and outcomes research – were pondered at length.
Speakers addressing the future needs of translational research focused on the prospects of multiomics assisted preclinical research, progress in Molecular and Digital Pathology, immunotherapy, liquid biopsy and science data. The clinical/prevention trial session presented the requirements for next-generation, multicentric trials entailing unified strategies for patient stratification, imaging, and biospecimen acquisition and storage. The third session highlighted the need for establishing outcomes research infrastructures to cover primary prevention, early detection, clinical effectiveness of innovations, health-related quality-of-life assessment, survivorship research and health economics.
An important outcome of the Summit was the presentation of the Porto Declaration, which called for a collective and committed action throughout Europe to develop the cancer research infrastructures indispensable for fostering innovation and decreasing inequalities within and between member states. Moreover, the Summit guidelines will assist decision making in the context of a unique EU-wide cancer initiative that, if expertly implemented, will decrease the cancer death toll and improve the quality of life of those confronted with cancer, and this is carried out at an affordable cost.
Molecular Oncology, 2021