Cancer is the second leading cause of mortality in EU countries, and the needs to tackle cancer are obvious. New scientific understanding, techniques and methodologies are opening up horizons for significant improvements in diagnosis and care. However, take-up is uneven, research needs and potential outstrip currently available resources, manifestly beneficial practices-such as population-level screening for lung cancer-are still not generalised, and the quality of life of patients and survivors is only beginning to be given attention it merits. This paper, mainly based on a series of multistakeholder expert workshops organised by the European Alliance for Personalised Medicine (EAPM), looks at some of those specifics in the interest of planning a way forward. Part of this exercise also involves taking account of the specific nature of Europe and its constituent countries, where the complexities of planning a way forward are redoubled by the wide variations in national and regional approaches to cancer, local epidemiology and the wide disparities in health systems. Despite all the differences between cancers and national and regional resources and approaches to cancer care, there is a common objective in pursuing broader and more equal access to the best available care for all European citizens.