Mission, goals and objectives

European Reference Networks (ERNs) are virtual patient-centred networks involving healthcare providers and patient representatives across Europe. Working together, these stakeholders aim to tackle complex or rare diseases and conditions that require highly specialised care and concentrated knowledge and resources.

EURACAN is the ERN for all rare adult solid cancers.

Launched by the European Commission on 17th March 2017, along with 23 other ERNs for other rare, complex diseases, EURACAN is coordinated by the French Comprehensive Cancer Centre Léon Bérard in Lyon, France.

The EURACAN network comprises 75 highly specialised cancer centres grouped as Full Members and Affiliated Partners across 24 European countries. EURACAN also includes Associated Partners, which are European/ international scientific societies, national networks and patient organisations/ePAG advocates.

EURACAN groups all rare adult solid cancers into ten “domains” corresponding to the RARECARE list of rare cancers based on the ICD-O, which is a medical classification for cancer:

Mission and objectives

The management of rare cancers poses significant diagnostic challenges, sometimes with major consequences for the patients’ quality of life and survival outcome. Inappropriate medical management of people with rare cancers may result in poorer survival outcomes for them.

The mission of EURACAN, based on its network of expert centres, is to improve diagnosis, treatment management, knowledge, research and communication for all patients with rare adult solid cancers.

Patient advocates associated with EURACAN represent the European Patient Advocacy Groups (ePAGs) for rare solid cancers in adults. They are called “ePAG advocates”. They work closely with the ten EURACAN domains to provide information and perspectives on patients’ and caregivers’ needs and expectations.

The specific objectives of EURACAN are:

  • To increase and facilitate access for people with rare adult solid cancers
    • To expert centres
    • To disease information
    • To treatment options and better and safer healthcare (including access to the latest diagnostic and therapeutic innovations)
  • To promote optimized quality and care of people with rare adult solid cancers
  • To fully and proactively involve patient advocacy groups which support people with rare adult solid cancers and assist them in the wide dissemination of relevant information about these diseases through the use of educational tools, collaborative networks and other means
  • To implement “roadmaps” for referral and self-referral of adults with rare solid cancers to expert centres
  • Develop and continuously review Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs)
  • Initiate and promote novel translational research programmes and associated tools
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