EUCANCan Final Meeting

On 26 and 27 June, the EUCANCan consortium held its final meeting as a hybrid meeting at University Hospital Heidelberg, Germany, and online. It provided a platform for the consortium to discuss the progress made over the last 4.5 years and strategize about their collaboration during the final wrap-up phase and beyond.

EUCANCan was one of six projects that were funded under the Horizon2020 call SC1-BHC-05-2018 and over its lifetime received 5,999,453.75 EUR from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme as well as funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

The project implemented a work plan consisting of five technical work packages, one work package devoted to coordinate them and one aiming at maximizing impact through addressing policy makers.

During the final meeting of the consortium, each work package leader had the opportunity to present major aims and results of the related work and explain how individual achievements fit into the general scheme of the federated EUCANCan network. The group also took time to discuss lessons learnt and to focus on aspects such as the impact of the interaction with other projects, e.g. with the other five initiatives funded under the same Horizon Europe call, and the general impact achieved within the community.

The European Commission was also represented at the EUCANCan final meeting, with the participation of Jerome de Barros who presented the European Health Data Space (EHDS) during the open hybrid sessions on the second day.

Among the most remarkable results from EUCANCan, there is the launch of the EUCANCan Portal, which allows users to view and search for data files in different locations. The portal currently operates with curated sample data and connects nodes from three different organisations. Another important result from the project concerns the definition of legal paths for clinical and genomic data sharing, which could be adopted by other projects and studies. Finally, EUCANCan has also significantly advanced at the level of genome analysis, as it has designed and implemented a strategy and platform to harmonize the identification of cancer variants across different research centres, allowing the possibility of combining and to interoperate different datasets.  

Looking back at the achievements of the last 4.5 years, the EUCANCan consortium takes pride in the successful implementation of its work plan and the strong cooperation forged between members of the group and beyond. The project brought together researchers from around the world and strengthened the ties between colleagues on different continents. Team members will continue to analyse and share their results in the months and years to come.