Health : Two New Initiatives to Boost Research on Diseases

Article excerpt

The European Commission simultaneously announced, on 15 April, its funding of research projects on cancer and the launch of pan-European cooperation on neurodegenerative diseases, thus confirming that support for research is a key aspect of the EU's public health policy(1).

CANCER

The Commission has allocated 21 million for two new research projects on cancer as part of an international research effort coordinated since 2007 by the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC). The research aims to elucidate comprehensively the changes in the human genome present in many forms of cancer, a disease that killed 7.5 million people worldwide in 2007, notes the Commission.

The two projects, BASIS a- Breast cancer somatic genetics study', with 13 partners from eight countries: the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, the United States, France, Norway, Sweden, Germany and Belgium) and CAGEKID ( Cancer genomics of the kidney'), with 14 partners from seven countries: France, the Czech Republic, Russia, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Latvia and Germany) will receive 10.5 million each. They will focus on unlocking the genetic code of breast cancer (the most common class of cancer diagnosed in women worldwide, with more than one million new cases annually) and kidney cancer (of particular importance in Europe, where the highest global incidence rates are observed)(2)

NEURODEGENERATIVE DISEASES

European researchers met, on 15 April in Stockholm, to develop a pan-European research strategy to tackle neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. …