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UICC cancer summit: Navigating global challenges for equitable cancer care

UICC’s World Cancer Leaders’ Summit on 16-17 October convened 350 top leaders of cancer and health organisations from over 70 countries in Long Beach, CA to find solutions to global challenges posed by issues that affect cancer care as well as how to reduce the significant disparities that exist in accessing effective cancer services for many populations.

Medical doctors, policymakers, researchers and patients at the World Cancer Leaders’ Summit discussed the impact on cancer patients of natural disasters and air pollution, emphasised the need to ensure the continued delivery of cancer services in crisis situations, highlighted the need for responsible antibiotic use and new medicines to counter drug resistance, and examined growing obesity rates and the link between obesity and cancer and other non-communicable diseases.

They also offered an exciting picture of the future of cancer care based on recent advances such as AI, mRNA vaccines, immunotherapy and multi-cancer early detection.

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Conscious that these emerging technologies may be seen as benefiting mainly patients in high-income countries, speakers and participants at the Summit emphasised that they also have the potential to address gaps in resources and expertise, improve access to diagnosis, treatment and care for underserved populations, and help close the gaps in access to quality cancer care due to gender, geographical location and socioeconomic condition.

“I’m very optimistic that some of the technologies we’re seeing now allow us to leapfrog some of the challenges we have in low- and middle-income countries that have not been able to adopt the current methodologies on screening or pathology. AI can make radiation therapy available in places where currently there is none. The theme of this summit, ‘Cancer in a changing world’ was deliberately designed to capture the big global challenges that the cancer community and wider health community face.” – Cary Adams, CEO of UICC

UICC’s World Cancer Leaders’ Summit 2023 was co-hosted by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the American Cancer Society (ACS), the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Stand Up To Cancer. It is held in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO), the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Christie Asakem
Christie Asakem
Christie Asakem is a prolific and passionate writer who specialises in comprehensive story telling.

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