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Press Release: 17 partners join forces to launch the European-Funded Horizon Cancer Mission Project, 4P-CAN


The Centre for Innovation in Medicine together with 16 European Partners launched the European-funded Horizon Cancer Mission project “Personalised CANcer Primary Prevention Research through Citizen Participation and Digitally Enabled Social Innovation” (4P-CAN) in Bucharest, Romania. The in-person gathering of research organisations and multistakeholder associations marks the organisations’ undertaking to improve cancer prevention and reduce inequalities by promoting the adoption of innovative research activities involving European citizens.

Over four years, 4P-CAN will identify barriers to cancer primary prevention measures adoption by studying risk factors for cancer such as smoking, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, excess body weight, HPV and HBV infections (preventable through vaccination) and environmental pollution. The project will gather evidence around individual adherence to healthy behaviours in countries from Eastern Europe such as Romania, Bulgaria, the Republic of Moldova, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Ukraine.

Dr Marius Geanta, the President of the Centre for Innovation in Medicine, said, “4P-CAN is a very timely project, because it’s addressing the primary prevention of cancer in the context of the Cancer Mission recommendations, with the primary aim to develop a new model of personalised primary prevention, based on innovative approaches from the social sciences and humanities. It benefits from the expertise of 17 beneficiaries, from 11 countries. We know that cancer primary prevention is neglected and underfunded – only 5% of the research funds were spent on it in the last decade. On the other side, we have high expectations of the citizens to invest and to come up with more efficient solutions for cancer prevention. 4P-CAN answers to this need and aims to find new effective strategies to approach cancer primary prevention. Moreover, our consortium is highly representative at the European level, mixing Eastern and Western partners, and so being able to understand and address the East-West inequalities in cancer.”

The 4P-CAN project is built on an innovative vision that seeks to understand the complex system surrounding the citizen and how it increases the risk of cancer on three levels – macro (at the national level), meso (at the community level), and micro (at the individual level). The project will follow the narrative of the European Code Against Cancer, implementing research, social sciences, and humanities with behavioural sciences to create personalized tools for the primary prevention of cancer.

Building on project knowledge and implementation methods, 4P-CAN will establish two living labs, one in Romania and one in Bulgaria, targeting the adoption of preventive behaviours based on the 12 recommendations of the European Code Against Cancer.

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, and Western EU Member States such as Portugal, Italy, France, Ireland, and Belgium.

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