A European “shield” against colorectal cancer based on novel, more precise and affordable risk-based screening methods and viable policy pathways
With Colorectal Cancer (CRC) being accountable for 12.4% of all deaths due to cancer, and with only 14% of EU citizens participating in screening programmes, there is an urgent need for accurate, non-invasive, cost-effective screening tests based on novel technologies and an increased awareness on the disease and its detection. Furthermore, personalized approaches for screening are needed, to consider genetic and other socioeconomic variables and environmental stressors that lead to different onsets of the disease. ONCOSCREEN responds to these challenges by developing a risk-based, population-level stratification methodology for CRC, to account for genetic prevalence, socio-economic status, and other factors. It complements this methodology by a) developing a set of novel, practical, and low-cost screening technologies with high sensitivity and specificity, b) leveraging AI to improve existing methodologies for CRC screening, allowing for the early detection of polyps and provision of a personalized risk status stratification, and c) providing a mobile app for self-monitoring and CRC awareness raising. Furthermore, ONCOSCREEN develops an Intelligent Analytics dashboard for policy makers facilitating effective policy making at regional and national levels. Through a multi-level campaign, the above-mentioned solutions are tested and validated. For the clinical solutions specifically, a clinical validation study has been planned with the participation of 4100 enrolled patients/citizens. To ensure the adoption of the developed solutions by the healthcare systems, their cost-effectiveness and financial viability will be assessed. The 48-months duration project will be implemented by a multidisciplinary consortium comprising of 38 partners, including technical solutions providers, hospitals, Ministries of Health as policy makers, legal and ethics experts, Insurance companies, involving actively end-users/citizens in all phases of implementation through targeted workshops. This action is part of the Cancer Mission cluster of projects on ‘Prevention, including Screening.