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The timely provision and interpretation of trends in population-based cancer survival estimates is an important clinical and public health priority.We examined survival trends between 1990–1994 and 2000–2004 for 15 common cancers in 10 countries from diverse areas of Europe and provide projected survival estimates for 2005–2009, using novel techniques of model-based period analysis.Between 1990–1994 and 2000–2004, the 5-year relative survival increased significantly in all participating registries among patients with prostate, breast, and colorectal cancers and in at least 7 of 11 registries for stomach, corpus uteri, ovarian, kidney, and thyroid cancers, as well as for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Projections suggest further substantial increases in survival in the calendar period 2005–2009. For most cancer sites amenable to effective early detection and treatment, major geographical differences persist with lower survival in Eastern European countries.Model-based period analysis may be useful in providing population-based cancer survival estimates for currently diagnosed cancer patients. Concerted efforts in the organisation and quality control of cancer care will be very important to achieving further improvements in cancer control in Europe, and improving outcomes in Eastern European populations remains a priority.