Deeply understand the lesser known cancer's mechanisms

  • Financial Contribution:

    3 million €

    Granted by the European Commission

  • Duration:

    15 months

    Start: 1st September 2022


The implementation plans of two convergent European programmes, the Horizon Europe Mission on Cancer and the Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, spur for an initiative to UNderstand CANcer (  More precisely, is one of the 13 specific objectives of the Mission on Cancer and one of the 10 flagship initiatives of the Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan. Hence, on the 1st of September 2022 the Coordination and Support Action (CSA) named started, with the goal to generate a blueprint for the implementation of

ACC is among the core partners, together with top-rated institutes from 20 member states. The CSA aims at the creation of a unique European digital platform whose governance will involve scientists, patients and citizens. The future platform will manage a European federated cancer research data hub, where researchers will be able to share and have access to high quality cancer research data. Data from experimental models (cell lines, patient-derived xenografts, animals) in addition to patients’ clinical data (including omics and images) will be included, on an unprecedented scale. will also define the cancer research priorities at a European level, within six strategic areas: prevention, early diagnosis, therapy resistance, pediatric tumors, cancer and aging, survivorship. For this purpose, 300 experts from all over Europe participated in a Delphi consensus process that was followed by two dedicated workshops, with the objective to identify the most urgent challenges to be addressed at a supranational level, which will inspire the next European calls for competitive research programs.

Therefore, main objectives are both drawing a European roadmap for cancer research and creating a federated data hub for sharing clinical and experimental data, with the goal to address patients’ needs by accelerating the next breakthrough in cancer research.

ACC is the leader of work package 5, dedicated to define the governance of the proposed platform and to outline a long-term sustainability model. In addition, ACC is co-leader of work package 2, focused on the identification of the most urgent research challenges at a supranational level.

Project Team

Head of the ACC’s project team is Franco Locatelli (IRCCS Bambino Gesù Rome). Also participating are Ruggero De Maria, ACC President, Pier Giuseppe Pelicci, ACC Scientific coordinator and Lidia Villanova, Scientific Project Manager.

Project coordinator

Institut National de la Sante Et de la Recherche Medicale (INSERM)

The CSA Coordinator is the Institut National de la Sante Et de la Recherche Medicale (INSERM), the Consortium consists of 29 core and advisory partners of 20 members states.