Breast Cancer Prevention: New International Project MELIORA Launched

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Researchers at the Faculty of Public Health, in collaboration with the LSMU Oncology and Haematology Clinic, have started the implementation of the European Commission-funded Horizon Europe project “Multimodal Engagement and sustainable Lifestyle Interventions optimised by Artificial Intelligence” (MELIORA) launched on 1 January. 

The MELIORA Project, a new initiative within the Cancer Mission cluster of projects on “Prevention & early detection” dedicated to revolutionising breast cancer prevention and care, officially launches with a mission to address the pressing global challenges posed by Female Breast Cancer (BC). In 2020 alone, BC emerged as the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women worldwide, comprising 11.7% of all cancer cases.

Beyond mortality and morbidity, BC’s societal and financial ramifications are profound, affecting not only health services but also the careers of working women, with younger demographics facing significant career disruptions.

While BC carries the highest treatment costs among all cancers, a remarkable 30% of cases are preventable through modifiable risk factors. The challenge lies in encouraging adherence to healthier lifestyles, which, despite established nutrition guidelines, faces considerable barriers such as awareness, skills, and socio-demographic factors.

Addressing Inequalities

Compounding these challenges are unacceptable inequalities in cancer care, particularly affecting women in rural areas, those with low education and income levels, and those facing societal stigmas. The disparities manifest across various BC metrics, including incidence, diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes.

The MELIORA Project recognises the urgent need for comprehensive interventions to bridge these gaps. Through pioneering approaches, including mobile health (mHealth), we aim to modify dietary behaviours and increase physical activity. Despite promising advancements in digital health technologies, the MELIORA Project acknowledges the necessity for high-quality lifestyle interventions to demonstrate the effectiveness of digital therapies in BC care.

MELIORA is aligned with Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan to combat cancer by actively involving patients and their families in intervention studies and by promoting a network of support and collaborative efforts to strengthen overall well-being.

MELIORA will develop specifically tailored studies spanning six piloting centres, compassing both urban and rural areas and engaging 2080 participants in four European countries: Greece, Lithuania, Spain and Sweden. This analysis is designed to offer a thorough assessment of the progress and impact of MELIORA on the community.

The target intervention will consist of a pool of information material, personalised guidance and feedback, delivered by health professionals as well as via digital tools, including mobile and web apps implementing the MELIORA intelligent Virtual Coach offering context-sensitive and personalised advice towards achieving and maintaining behavioural change.

The MELIORA project gathers a Consortium of 16 partners from across Europe, all working collaboratively towards its objectives:

The MELIORA consortium will continue its duties over the following 48 months. Keep updated on MELIORA’s latest activities by following the project’s social media channels, Twitter and LinkedIn.
For more information, please contact Ms Olga Polyaeva, Communications Manager (Projects) at the European Health Management Association – EHMA at

LSMU MELIORA research team: Prof. Gintarė Kalinienė (project lead), Prof. Ida Liseckienė, Dr. Erika Korobeinikova, Prof. Ričardas Radišauskas, Prof. Dainius Pavalkis, Assoc. Prof. Rugilė Ivanauskienė, Lina Paulauskienė.  

Photo: International Project Team during the steering meeting in Athens attended by three team members from LSMU: Prof. Gintarė Kalinienė, Prof. Ida Liseckienė, Dr. Erika Korobeinikova.