Cancer is a major global health threat and one of the biggest medical challenges ever faced by humanity. An increasingly aging population will only exacerbate the cancer-associated dismal statistics. Currently, research policies and structures are often fragmented; priorities for funding are set at national level and the funding organisations have different aims and regulations. We need to support cancer research at the European and global level. The scope of the EU-funded TRANSCAN (ERA-NET on translational cancer research) network was to harmonise translational cancer research funding to overcome resource fragmentation. The project involved 29 partners including ministries, funding agencies and charities from 20 countries across Europe. The overall aim was to sustain European funding programmes and support cancer research at the continental level. This would help bridge the gap between scientific discoveries and patient care. As a first step, the network analysed existing funding policies and programmes in different countries. The next action was to launch three calls for proposals in the field of translational cancer research, which also entailed the support of training and capacity development. A total of 30 proposals were funded by a budget of over 33 million euros. Through the promotion of international collaborations in cancer research, the TRANSCAN network strengthened research communities and increased the quality and impact of research activities. The formulation of a sustainability plan for the future led to the successor TRANSCAN-2 project funded by Horizon 2020. TRANSCAN-2 will continue on the path set previously by TRANSCAN to align translational cancer research activities across Europe and facilitate the bidirectional transfer between bench and bedside.
Cancer, research, diagnostic, therapy, network, funding