Cancer Core Europe is a European legal alliance consisting of seven leading cancer centres - most of them Comprehensive Cancer Centres (CCCs) - with a single portal system to engage in various research projects with partners. Cancer Core Europe was established to create a sustainable, high-level, shared research infrastructure platform hosting research collaborations and task forces (data sharing, clinical trials, genomics, immunotherapy, imaging, education and training, and legal and ethical issues), with a controlled expansion agenda. Translational cancer research covers the cancer research continuum from basic to preclinical to early clinical, late clinical, and outcomes research. Basic-preclinical research serves as the 'engine' for early clinical research by bridging the early translational research gap and is the primary and current focus of the consortium as exemplified by the launching of the Basket of Baskets trial, Europe's largest precision cancer medicine trial. Inspired by the creation of Cancer Core Europe, the prevention community established Cancer Prevention Europe, a consortium of ten cancer prevention centres aimed at supporting the complete prevention research continuum. Presently, Cancer Core Europe and Cancer Prevention Europe are integrating therapeutics and prevention strategies to address in partnership the widening cancer problem. By providing innovative approaches for cancer research, links to healthcare systems, development of quality-assured multidisciplinary cancer care, and assessment of long-term outcomes, the virtual infrastructure will serve as a hub to connect and interact with other centres across Europe and beyond. Together, Cancer Core Europe and Cancer Prevention Europe are prepared to function as a central engine to tackle, in collaboration with various partners, a potential 'mission on cancer' addressing the cancer burden.