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Public Health

CAN.HEAL - Building the EU Cancer and Health Genomics Platform

Genomic modifications are a significant driver of cancer, and wide-profiling of these modifications has become a major asset for timely diagnosis, prognosis and therapy. 

The CAN.HEAL consortium recognises the need for a comprehensive approach to prevention, diagnosis and treatment for optimal outcomes. The project aims to establish recommendations for EU health systems that improve access to prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through personalised medicine to individuals and patients.

The project’s clinical work focuses on applying ‘next generation sequencing’ technology and identifying implementation paths to extend the application of genetic profiling of patients and tumour cells. 

This will enable EU Cancer Centres to:

  • take advantage of national initiatives to structure omics - such as genomics and transcriptomics - to allow harmonised data interpretation in patient care;
  • better share their data; 
  • take up molecular tumour profiling biomarkers that estimate cancer predisposition. 

As part of its work on ‘Genomics for Public Health’, the project will conduct further work on the application of novel insights for estimating cancer risks in healthy populations using polygenic risk score analysis as part of population-wide interventions, along with strategies for remote genetic counselling and telegenetics.

CAN.HEAL aims to set up a framework for integrating and aligning the Genome of Europe biobanking initiative into public health genomics for cancer. 

Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan aims to tackle the entire disease pathway of cancer - from prevention to quality of life of cancer patients and survivors - with the aim to improve prevention, early detection, and access to diagnosis and treatment. 

The CAN.HEAL consortium will address two of the Beating Cancer Plan’s initiatives: ‘Cancer Diagnostics and Treatment for All’ and ‘Genomics for Public Health’. 

EU4health - Projects
Diagnosis and treatment
27 JULY 2023
Factsheet - CAN.HEAL
(150.06 KB - PDF)


Expected project outcomes include:

  • tools and procedures to integrate and align clinical and population-based interventions;
  • guidelines and tools for the evaluation of value-based innovation adoption in personalised medicine;
  • strategies for the implementation of telegenetics and remote genetic counselling;
  • building clinical utility for cancers in pregnancy, family-based genetic testing in pediatric leukemia, and Polygenic Risk Scores (PRS) in cancer risk stratification;
  • strategies for wet lab tools, Molecular Tumor Boards (MTB) and Comprehensive Genomic Profiling (CGP) for early detection, diagnosis and treatment;
  • recommendations on the use of Decision Support Tools (DST) in cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment;
  • national capacity building of clinical and population-based interventions;
  • specific education and training for health workers in genomics and cancer care and control;
  • deeper ethical and legal consents towards access to medical information;
  • recommendations concerning the implementation of Polygenic Risk Scores (PRS) and liquid biopsy in cancer management.






Marc Van den Bulcke/Els Van Valckenborgh






Marc Van den Bulcke/Els Van Valckenborgh
Els [dot] Vanvalckenborghatsciensano [dot] be
Phone number
+ 32 2 642 54 96
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