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Uppsala Health Summit Report: ”Time to ask tough questions about cancer”

22 May 2018

Ahead of the annual Uppsala Health Summit, 14–15 June, the report Care for Cancer was published today, focusing on how we can pave the way for better and more equal access to the best possible diagnostics and care.

The number of people who fall ill with cancer is increasing globally. While medical advances open up unprecedented opportunities for slowing down and treating cancer, the gap between what is medically possible and what healthcare can provide is constantly growing.

“At Uppsala Health Summit 2018, we hope to take steps to narrow the gap between what is possible in theory and what is practically feasible to implement. Healthcare providers and policy-makers need improved knowledge-based decision support. The data often exists – in patients’ medical journals, in quality registries and in related biobanks – but is only partly accessible and rarely comparable. By gathering insights from different actors and different scientific fields, as well as clinical and policy-related experience, we are confident that we can find clues in many areas on how to make cancer care more effective and equal,” says Uppsala Health Summit Programme Committee Chair, Professor Emeritus Dr Lars Holmberg.

The report will underpin the dialogue in plenary and in workshops at Uppsala Castle, when approximately 150 members of the international cancer community, including decision-makers and experts from policymaking, healthcare, the pharma industry and academia meet to discuss cancer care. Authored by the Summit Programme Committee, it lays out the arguments for action on a wide range of topics.

The topics highlighted include:

  • the need for a more focused development of biomarkers
  • life-cycle perspectives for a better understanding of the true value of new drugs
  • how to make precision medicine a reality for more patients
  • the importance of a global infrastructure for biobanks
  • the need to prepare societies for increasing numbers of cancer survivors
  • how best to integrate physical exercise in cancer treatment on a broad scale
  • the often overlooked potential for repurposing already approved drugs.

Cross-cutting issues, such as how we can improve care and treatment for children with cancer, patient involvement, and equal access to diagnostics and care are an integral part of the report and will also be considered in each workshop session.

Each year, more than eight million people worldwide die from cancer, and over 17 million people receive a cancer diagnosis. The number of new cases is projected to rise dramatically in the coming decades, especially in low- and middle-income countries. In May 2017, the World Health Assembly adopted a resolution on cancer requesting member states to develop national cancer plans, including prevention, access to screening, diagnosis, treatment and care.

The report can be ordered by sending an email to: info@uppsalahealthsummit.se or downloaded from Uppsala Health Summit’s website, www.uppsalahealthsummit.se