PRESS RELEASE – 18 April – 4P-CAN European Parliament Event 

The 4P-CAN project (Personalized CANcer Primary Prevention research through Citizen Participation and digitally-enabled social innovation) Project is excited to share the outcomes of the ‘Cancer primary prevention main risk factors in Europe. Regulations, implementation level and future steps’ event hosted by Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Cristian-Silviu Busoi at the European Parliament in Brussels. 

This event was also attended by joined by MEP Andrey Kovatchev. The esteemed speakers shed light on pertinent updates, including key insights from Jan-Willem van de Loo, Scientific and Policy Officer of the Cancer Mission at the European Commission. The event served as a platform for stakeholders to exchange ideas and strategies, driving forward the mission to combat cancer in Europe. Their active involvement and support highlighted the critical importance of legislative engagement and collaborative policymaking in the fight against cancer. 

The event provided a platform to uncover the expected impact of the Horizon Europe Mission on Cancer. This Mission, poised to revolutionise cancer care, aims to impact over 3 million lives by 2030 through innovative research and strategic interventions. The Mission is designed to comprehensively tackle this pressing health challenge by addressing every aspect of the cancer journey, from prevention to treatment and support. With a focus on key objectives such as understanding cancer, early detection, and personalised treatment.  

During his presentation, Dr Marius Geantă, President of the Centre for Innovation in Medicine (INOMED), shed light on the expansive scope of the 4P-CAN project. This initiative, covering 7 of the 13 priorities outlined in the Cancer Mission, is critically positioned to address primary risk factors. Geantă emphasised the project’s potential for synergistic collaborations, including partnerships with the European Commission Cluster on Prevention and Early Detection, the European Code Against Cancer (5th Edition), the PROPHET ProjectECHoS: Establishing Cancer Mission Hubs – Networks and Synergies and UNCAN.EU – CSA Understanding Cancer. 

Charis Girvalaki, Scientific Director at the European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention (ENSP) delivered a compelling presentation on Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan (EBCDP). This transformative initiative sets a bold target of achieving a tobacco-free generation. By analysing the effectiveness of alcohol control measures, food regulations, and sugar-sweetened beverage regulations on cancer risk, as well as assessing current policies, legislation, and regulatory frameworks for HPV and HBV infections and air pollution, policymakers gain crucial insights to develop evidence-based regulations and interventions aimed at reducing the cancer burden by targeting cancer primary prevention main risk factors. Charis’s presentation highlighted the pivotal role of comprehensive strategies in combating cancer and fostering public health across Europe. 

Carolina Espina, a Scientist at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), shed light on the synergies between the 4P-CAN project and the European Code Against Cancer. Carolina emphasized key recommendations for the upcoming edition, including individual and population-level measures, the importance of a multidisciplinary approach, and establishing a comprehensive “EU toolbox” for cancer prevention. With an expected launch in 2025, the 5th European Code Against Cancer aims to achieve widespread awareness, with a target of at least 80% of the population informed by 2025. Espina’s insights underscored the collaborative efforts driving forward the fight against cancer and the significance of evidence-based approaches in shaping public health policies across Europe. 

Stefania BocciaPROPHET Project Coordinator and Deputy Scientific Director at Fondazione Policlinico Universitario Agostino Gemelli IRCCS, illuminated the significance of Personalised Prevention and the pivotal role of the 4P-CAN project in shaping a healthier future. During her presentation, she delved into Epidemiological Trends and the indicators of the Global Burden of Disease Study, citing tobacco as the leading risk factor, contributing to 17.9% of the disease burden (Source: Global Burden of Disease Study 2019 *GBD 2019). Additionally, she highlighted data revealing the staggering annual economic cost of productivity lost due to various modifiable risk factors, including alcohol, sedentary lifestyle, low fruit intake, low vegetable intake, and smoking. As an example, this economic burden in Italy, totalling 93 billion euros, equates to 69% of healthcare expenditure in the country, underscoring the urgent need for targeted prevention strategies, (Source: The European House – Ambrosetti on the Global Burden of Disease, 2023​).  Stefania’s insights shed light on the profound impact of lifestyle factors on public health.  

The 4P-CAN project is a collaboration among 17 organizations from 11 different countries, including the Balkan countries, which are European Union (EU) Member States and non-EU Member States (Moldova, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Ukraine), and Western EU Member States (Portugal, Italy, France, Ireland, and Belgium). On 8th April, the 4P-CAN Project Partners convened at the WHO EU office in Brussels to review project updates and meet some of the members of the External Advisory Board who recently joined 4P-CAN, alongside the presence of Oxana Domenti, WHO Representative to the EU. In a defining moment, Project Coordinator Dr Marius Geanta delivered a resounding proclamation: “Cancer Mission works,” setting the tone for collective optimism and purposeful action in the quest against cancer. 

For more information on the 4P-CAN project, please visit our social media platforms on LinkedIn and Twitter


Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HADEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them. 

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