Spending on Cancer Research in Europe Rising

Spending on cancer research in Europe is on the up, and Europe is now a major contributor to the global cancer research effort, according to the second cancer research funding survey by the European Cancer Research Managers (ECRM) Forum. However, growing levels of bureaucracy threaten to stifle future research, the report warns.

According to the survey, which was launched at the European Parliament on 18 September, a total of €3.2 billion was spent on cancer research in Europe in 2004, representing an increase of 38% since the last survey two years ago. Just over half of this amount comes from governmental organisations, with the rest coming from the charitable sector.

Although Europe still spends less on cancer research as a percentage of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) than the US, the gap is closing. Furthermore, Europe and the US are evenly matched when it comes to the volume of cancer research publications produced.

"Contrary to public perception, a phenomenal amount of cancer research is carried out in Europe, evidenced by the huge amount of cancer research papers being published here," commented Professor Richard Sullivan, Chair of the ECRM Forum. "This is important, as many policy makers assume the global funding for cancer research is overwhelmingly concentrated in the USA. Our data indicate that this is not true and the effort is truly a global one. The possibilities for fruitful partnerships not only exist, but should be the basis for future long-term policy."

However, the report's authors highlight the growing threat that bureaucracy poses to advances in cancer research. "Good research governance is essential but bureaucracy is absorbing too much of the global investment in cancer research," said Professor Sullivan. "Bureaucracy and over-management remain constant dangers to progress. Funding organisations and government policy makers must guard against these dangers and, where necessary, simplify and harmonise."

A recent study by Cancer Research UK found that the EU Clinical Trials Directive has resulted in a doubling of the costs of running non-commercial cancer clinical trials, delayed the start of trials by several months and made international collaboration in clinical trials more difficult.

The ECRM document also emphasises the wide differences in cancer research spending within Europe. Leading the field by a long way is the UK, which spent €783 million on cancer research in 2004. Second and third places went to Germany and France, who spent €324 million and €249 million respectively.

Since the last survey was published two years ago, 60% of Member States have increased their levels of research funding in real terms. However, 30% have not increased their spending at all.

"It is clear that some governments are still failing to appropriately support cancer research," said Professor Sullivan. "For these countries the need for specific policy actions to ensure a limited core of high quality research within their institutions - relative to their R&D [research and development] budgets - is crucial if these Member States have aspirations to become major locations for cancer research in the future."

The survey also identifies a move away from basic research and towards more clinical research in a majority of countries studied. Speaking at the launch of the report, Professor Sullivan called for a more holistic approach to curing and controlling cancer.

"New drug discovery is only one strategy," he said, noting that there was a need for more research into issues such as prevention and early diagnosis. Professor Sullivan added that he hoped the Commission would fund such research under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).

For more information and to download the report, please visit:
http://www.ecrmforum.org

Copyright ©European Communities, 2007
Neither the Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, nor any person acting on its behalf, is responsible for the use, which might be made of the attached information. The attached information is drawn from the Community R&D Information Service (CORDIS). The CORDIS services are carried on the CORDIS Host in Luxembourg - http://cordis.europa.eu. Access to CORDIS is currently available free-of-charge.

Most Popular Now

Salvat Laboratories announces submission of New Dr…

Salvat Laboratories announced that it has submitted a New Drug Application (NDA) to the FDA for the approval of the first ocular corticosteroid formulated in a nanoemulsi...

Pfizer's elranatamab granted FDA Breakthrough Ther…

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) announced its investigational cancer immunotherapy, elranatamab, received Breakthrough Therapy Designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administrati...

New insights on antibody responses to Omicron vari…

Knowing how well vaccination against one SARS-CoV-2 strain (with or without previous infection) counteracts infection with a different strain is a critical research quest...

Ancient viral DNA in human genome guards against i…

Viral DNA in human genomes, embedded there from ancient infections, serve as antivirals that protect human cells against certain present-day viruses, according to new res...

The origin-of-life molecule, a key to cancer resea…

RNA, the molecule that gave rise to life, has been shown to be essential for repairing human genetic material and preventing mutations that might lead to developing cance...

Bayer with continued strong performance

The Bayer Group maintained its strong business performance across all three divisions in the third quarter. "Despite rising inflation and global supply chain problems, we...

Sugar molecules as a target in cancer therapy

Cancer cells use sugar molecules on their surface to disable attacks by the body's immune system. Researchers at the University of Basel now report on how this mechanism ...

Vividion Therapeutics names Jenna Goldberg as Chie…

Vividion Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company utilizing novel discovery technologies to unlock high value, traditionally undruggable targets with precision the...

COVID vaccination improves effectiveness of cancer…

Patients with nasopharyngeal cancer are often treated with drugs that activate their immune system against the tumor. Until now, it was feared that vaccination against Co...

Making melanoma immortal: Pitt scientists discover…

Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have discovered the missing puzzle piece in the mystery of how melanoma tumors control their mortality. I...

Pfizer and BioNTech receive positive CHMP opinion …

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) and BioNTech SE (Nasdaq: BNTX) announced a booster dose of their Omicron BA.4/BA.5-adapted bivalent COVID-19 vaccine (COMIRNATY® Original/Omicron ...

Study reveals vaccine confidence declined consider…

A new study suggests that, despite the success of the COVID-19 vaccination campaigns, vaccine confidence has declined significantly since the start of the pandemic. Re...