For the prestigious Horizon RIA call FFUND joined forces with several high-profile research groups, leading universities and cancer organizations across Europe, forming a new consortium led by the Netherlands Cancer Institute to improve scientific research and healthcare for adolescents and young adults (AYA) with cancer. The STRONG-AYA initiative is granted a total of 10 million euros from the EU HORIZON Europe program and UK Research and Innovation to build the AYA network. “We are extremely proud to be part of the STRONG-AYA consortium and are looking forward to starting in October!” says Tessa van der Erve, project management lead at FFUND.
The STRONG-AYA network
STRONG-AYA has the ambition to transform clinical care and outcomes research for AYAs with cancer and will create the foundation to enable AYA patient-centered healthcare in an AYA Cancer Reference Network starting in several countries in Europe. By creating five national ecosystems and an overall European AYA healthcare research ecosystem, concentrating on the dynamic generation and use of outcomes data by all important actors within healthcare and research, we will work towards the most effective, affordable and sustainable value-based care for AYA with cancer to maximize their health outcomes.
The STRONG-AYA network aims to do so by taking three steps over the next five years. Firstly, the participants will develop a standard set of outcomes that are most relevant to their age group. Secondly, the network will start using these standard outcomes in five national healthcare systems: France, Italy, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Poland. Finally, the consortium aims to develop innovative models for predicting which patients are at risk of inferior health outcomes and improving national care practices, reinforced by benchmarking between countries. This will be facilitated by the dissemination of STRONG-AYA data to different stakeholders, including researchers, healthcare professionals, patients, and policymakers, and by extending the acquired knowledge beyond this network.
This new European network will enable the national effort against cancer to be scaled up. “The number of patients in the Netherlands is relatively small,” explains Winette van der Graaf, coordinator of the consortium. “We really need this large-scale network to collect a substantial amount of data in order to answer the most important questions that can improve healthcare. By teaming up internationally, we can achieve so much more.”