Comprehensive Cancer Care Across the EU: Advancing the Vision

08 September 2021


Via this policy paper, the 21 healthcare professional organisations, 9 patient organisations and other organisations participating within the European Cancer Organisation’s Quality Cancer Care Network, who have been active in its authorship and review, seek to emphasise to all involved in implementation of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan and the EU Cancer Mission:

That Comprehensive Cancer Centres are the right means for delivering EU cancer policy objectives on the ground

  • We applaud the understanding inherent in both Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan and the EU Cancer Mission that Comprehensive Cancer Centres hold the key to achieving success in EU cancer policy.
  • Arising from this, there is now a significant and urgent need to develop and accredit more Comprehensive Cancer Centres and Networks on the ground in Member States to improve patient outcomes and reduce inequalities, and bring the vision of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan and Cancer Mission to reality.

That setting the goals of the EU Network of Comprehensive Cancer Centres early on will heighten success

  • Clarity on the core objectives of the EU Network of Comprehensive Cancer Centres should be gained to boost delivery, create accountability and demonstrate success. Our Network of partners suggest these be understood as:

a) reducing inequalities of diagnosis, treatment and care, and access to clinical trials
b) strengthening the quality of translational, clinical and outcomes research
c) integrating clinical care and research and evaluating the quality of cancer care throughout

That Horizon Europe must take advantage of the new EU Network of Comprehensive Cancer Centres to secure the EU’s global leadership position in cancer research

  • As set out in the Porto Cancer Summit 2021, Comprehensive Cancer Centres are widely understood as the infrastructure model best placed to position Europe as the world leader in clinical, translational and outcomes research. Given research is a central element to what it is a comprehensive cancer centre does, the EU’s Horizon Europe programme should help to underpin, and maximise the success of the new EU Network of Comprehensive Cancer Centres through concentrated application of research actions to be undertaken by the new Network.

That building on what is already in place, and integrating regional and local networks, will be critical to achieving success

  • Comprehensive Cancer Centres are vital institutions for integrating high quality care and research. Existing networks of CCCs should therefore be strengthened and extended. Addressing gaps in CCC provision in the EU must be a priority, including for those EU countries presently lacking recognised Comprehensive Cancer Care provision.
  • We further recommend, to achieve the Beating Cancer Plan’s goal on Comprehensive Cancer Care access, regional hospitals and primary care providers be encouraged and supported to develop collaborative regional and local networks, linked to the EU Network of Comprehensive Cancer Centres.
  • The range of existing organisations working at European level to encourage networking of comprehensive cancer centres should be supported by the EU to take up this capacity building and enhancing activity, building on experience and approaches already well developed to these ends.


Download the Report here