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EIT Health joins call to ‘Close the Care Gap’ on cancer to save lives across Europe

  • To mark World Cancer Day, EIT Health vows to back innovative technologies to support early screening and cancer diagnosis
  • EIT Health says that earlier diagnosis will save money on treatment.  This is allowing for savings that can be reinvested into better services
  • Without concerted action, cancer cases are expected to increase by 25 per cent by 2035 making it the leading cause of death in the EU[1]

EIT Health, part of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, will mark World Cancer Day by vowing to back more innovative technologies that can help to support early screening and diagnosis of cancer in a bid to ‘Close the Care Gap’ and help provide equitable care for all.

This year’s World Cancer Day’s theme is about raising awareness of the equity gap that affects people across the globe. It looks at how we can prevent unnecessary deaths through wider access to care and innovative solutions. No matter who you are or where you live.

EIT Health, an EU-backed network of health innovators, says greater focus on screening and early diagnosis of the disease will not only improve survival rates but may also generate substantial cost-savings. These could be re-invested into new technology and services that aim to further improve patient outcomes. Across the world, earlier diagnosis improves the odds of fighting the disease. It means that cancer treatment is two-to-four times less expensive.[2]

Currently, nearly nine million people die from cancer around the world each year and there is an expected 25 per cent increase in cancer cases in Europe over the next decade,[3] putting an even greater strain on healthcare systems as they emerge from the pandemic.

Jan-Philipp Beck, CEO at EIT Health spoke about it:

She said:Incredible work has taken place over the past decades to improve cancer services. As we begin to plan for life after COVID-19, it’s time to upweight our focus on early detection and diagnosis.

“Treating cancer early is better for everyone – it has a better success rate generally, is less expensive, and it comes with improved quality of life for the patient. EIT Health’s vision for closing the gap is underpinned by supporting cutting-edge technology that can make it easier to prevent, find, and treat cancers as early as possible.

“Cancer claimed the lives of 1.3 million people in Europe in 2020.[4] The earlier we can spot cancer, the more lives we can save.”

EIT Health is committed to playing their part in the battle against cancer. As well as supporting across all areas of oncology, they have developed and launched numerous innovative solutions focused on the early detection and diagnosis of cancer in some of the biggest killers – see examples here.

The organisation’s open innovation programme, ‘Wild Card’ will go even further in 2022, awarding support and the potential for up to €3 million in investment to those with bright ideas for advancing early detection of lung and prostate cancer.

Lung cancer is one of the deadliest cancers but can be successfully treated if detected early.

Lung cancer accounts for 11.9% of all new cancer diagnoses in the EU of all new cancer diagnoses. 20.4% of all deaths from cancer. This makes it the fourth most frequently occurring cancer (after prostate, breast, and colorectal cancers). This is in addition to the leading cause of cancer death.[5]

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men. It can be treated and even cured when caught in its early stages.[6] When prostate cancer is detected in later stages, the changes of surviving more than 5 years are halved.

By focusing on screen, diagnosis, and other areas of oncology, EIT Health plans to uncover new ways to detect cancer earlier. This gives millions of people a better chance of survival as well as reducing the economic pressure on healthcare systems.

EIT Health has supported numerous cancer projects and start-ups focussed on improving outcomes for people with the disease, just three examples in early diagnosis include: Stockholm3, Optellum and OncoWatch.


[1] European Commission, Europe Beating Cancer Plan, Available at: (Accessed January 2022)

[2] WHO, Available at: (Accessed January 2022)

[3] European Commission, Europe Beating Cancer Plan, Available at: (Accessed January 2022)

[4] European Cancer Information System, Available at: (Accessed January 2022)

[5] European Cancer Information System, Available at: (Accessed January 2022)

[6] Cancer Research, Available at: (Accessed January 2022)

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