Interview with Prof. Walter Ricciardi

Chair of the EU Cancer Mission Board.
Prof. Walter Ricciardi provided insights on the EU Cancer Mission and the current and future synergies with TRANSCAN-3. 

(foto ANSA)
(foto ANSA)

How does TRANSCAN-3 contribute to advances intranslational cancer research for the benefit of patients?

The Funding Agencies, which are part of the TRANSCAN-3 Consortium, haveprovided, and are still providing, important investments to increase theknowledge on this burdening disease, bringing advanced diagnostics andtherapeutic solutions to patients while contributing to raise the awarenessamong the European policy makers on the importance of investing incancer research.

How are TRANSCAN-3 goals aligned with the priorities ofthe EU Cancer Mission?

The EU Cancer Mission has already approved a series of overarching objectives,including'Understanding Cancer', 'Preventing what is Preventable', 'OptimizingDiagnostics and Treatments', 'Supporting Quality of Life' and 'Ensuring EquitableAccess', to be sought by reinforcing and maximizing the already existing activitiesand avoiding dispersion of what is currently being carried out. TRANSCAN-3 hasfully demonstrated to be in line with these goals and keeps providing scientificground to all of them.

With respect to the future evolution of TRANSCAN-3 through a EuropeanPartnership, synergies can be leveraged: nowadays, within the EuropeanCommission’s Steering Group on Health Promotion, Disease Prevention andManagement of Non-Communicable Diseases (SGPP) there is a working-group oncancer that is periodically discussing these aspects. The TRANSCAN-3 Consortiumshould engage with the Member States and delineate the importance of suchpartnership at a European level, while highlighting the complementarity with theother running activities.

What should European citizens expect fromthe EU Cancer Mission?

European citizens will benefit from several expected tangible results: besides theinvestments on cancer research, this Mission is focused on advancing thediagnostics and treatments of cancer, while reducing inequalities in healthcare.Another priority is the valorization of health data: in this perspective, the EUCancer Mission is fully committed to reduce health data fragmentationwithinregions and Member States and ease a smart use of this data to create valuefor patients and citizens.

What should European researchers expect fromthe EU Cancer Mission?

The Mission has launched a Coordination and Support Action (CSA) called, with the objective to use existing, relevant research infrastructures andinvest in the development of models and technologies to interrogate theinteractions of poorly understood cancers and their host. This will translate intomore resources for advancing European researchers’ work and careers.
In parallel with the implementation of, the Member States and theregions have created national mirror groups in order to locally replicate what isbeing generated and, therefore, amplify the outcome of the Moretopics are to follow in the Mission work programme reflecting the other objectives (see above).

Where do you see potential synergies betweenTRANSCAN-3 and the EU Cancer Mission?

The CSA is already an actual initiative where we expect collaboration between TRANSCAN-3 and the Mission. Other initiatives where TRANSCAN-3 brings a valuable contribution are
Europe's Beating Cancer Plan, European Health Data Space and EU4Health plan.