Overcoming Cancer with Research - Making Successes Public

NEWS2009 Team Sarcoma Initiative
July 18 - 26


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Last update on: 06/10/2010

The research of cancer within children and adolescents is the central focus of OVERCOMING CANCER WITH RESEARCH, a science-communication project, which was considered worthy of funding by the European Commission. As public dialogue, scientists along with experts in public relations and the Otto Pammer Filmproduction, want to communicate the relationship between the accomplishments of child-cancer-research and the successful treatment of young patients. Various campaigns and media should help portray the successes of research transparently and comprehensibly.

paediatric oncology IN EUROPA: a story of success - BUT THERE are still plenty of unmet needs

As a direct consequence of funding, in large parts by private foundations and charities as well as by public national and international grants (e.g. the EU-Framework programmes, FPs, which have been implemented since 1984), dramatic advances in paediatric oncology and associated research were achieved in Europe during the last decades. In industrialised nations, overall cure rates of children and teenagers with cancer could be raised from below 20% to more than 75% during the last forty years.  However, childhood cancer is still the number one killer amongst diseases and second only to accidents as the most common cause of death in European children older than 1 year. Today, the ultimate goal of curing children and adolescents with cancer includes not only saving lives, but also to achieve a higher quality existence following the intensive cancer treatment. 

FUTURE IMprovements to reach total cure for children with adolescents with cancer

The EC-funded project OVERCOMING CANCER WITH RESEARCH (submitted to the EC with the acronym DIRECT) communicates the current situation of paediatric oncology and paediatric oncological research and presents the obstacles to be overcome scientifically, politically and logistically to provide "total cure" for every European child and teenager with cancer, including all medical, psychological and social aspects. 

Communication with the public

Science-communication projects such as OVERCOMING CANCER WITH RESEARCH (DIRECT) are of high importance to promote public understanding and awareness of the relationship between the accomplishments of childhood cancer research and the successful treatment of young patients. In addition, science communication is to make the public aware of the necessity to improve the quality of life of the young patients during cancer treatment and during their period of survival. Public understanding and awareness of past successes and future challenges are major preconditions for recognising the importance of continual funding of childhood cancer research and paediatric oncological networks in Europe through private foundations and charities and also national and international means. As Europeans, we must acknowledge, that the needs of our children and teenagers with cancer affect us all.

DIRECT means

"Disseminate results from EC funded projects improved therapy options in paediatric oncology"


The project was handed into the European Commission under the brief description of DIRECT and is funded under the Grant Agreement Number FP7-20186 in the area of“Science Communications Actions".

Sandra Brezina“The broad public and decision makers should be made aware of themes in child cancer research. Young people, specifically those facing career choices, should become animated for life sciences and the evolving area of child-cancer research.”

Sandra Brezina-Krivda

project-organisation & public relations,

St. Anna Kinderkrebsforschung Children's Cancer Research Institute - CCRI



1st March 2008 until 30th October 2012


To promote the project objectives, we

  • inform the public about clearly improved survival chances of children and adolescents with cancer
  • establish a relationship between the increased chances of a cure and the progress in the bio-medical and clinical research;
  • communicate via various campaigns and appealing media the social benefits of research processes and findings;
  • create an awareness for the importantance of the networking of child cancer experts in order to improve diagnosis, treatment as well as new and continuative findings.
  • highlight the importance of the continual research funding through national and international means (e.g. EC-funded paediatric oncological research projects through the EU-Framework programmes, FPs) and private donations: only with the help of these funds can the chances of a cure for these cancer patients increase;
  • explain the necessary provisional and after treatment as well as social re-integration of former child cancer patients and appeal directly to society