World Cancer Day 2018: Better cancer care in focus at Uppsala Health Summit 2018

Press release
2 February 2018

Thanks to advances in treatment options, the chances of surviving cancer are better than ever before. However, cancer incidence is increasing and new forms of therapy are expensive. As a result, resource management and priority setting face major challenges. How can we ensure equitable access to diagnosis and treatment? This topic is the focus of Uppsala Health Summit 2018, “Care for Cancer”.

Each year, more than 8 million people world¬wide 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 screen¬ing, diagnosis, treatment and care.

“We believe that cancer diagnosis, treatment and care is for everyone. Even with the most advanced technologies and improved treatment options, we will fall short of reducing the number of premature deaths from cancer if we do not firmly address the widening access gap. This World Cancer Day, we call for a collective response, so that every individual affected by cancer has an equal opportunity to receive the best treatment and care no matter where they live, their income, gender, or ethnicity,” says Union for International Cancer Control President, Professor Sanchia Aranda.

Uppsala Health Summit, which takes place on 14–15 June at Uppsala Castle, will bring together a broad spectrum of expertise in the cancer community, from across the globe, including scientists, private sector representatives, healthcare professionals, NGOs and policymakers. The meeting aims to put in motion a constructive dialogue and develop proposals on how to implement opportunities from sci¬ence and innovation for more equal therapeutic access and better patient outcomes.

“Prevention by promoting a healthy personal lifestyle and reducing harmful external exposure is of course extremely important, but can only solve part of the problem. We also need to face the tough questions that arise with the fast-growing need for treatment and care. It’s time to agree on guidelines and priorities that reflect the recent scientific advances, e.g. the opportunities around data, and work out ways we can make them benefit the individual patient,” says Professor Lars Holmberg, Chairman of the Uppsala Health Summit Programme Committee.

The workshops will address a broad set of critical topics, including biomarker development, precision medicine, drug repositioning and how to prepare healthcare systems for more patients. Cross-cutting issues related to how we improve care and treatment for children with cancer, patient involvement, equal care and a global perspective will be an integral part of each workshop session.

As always at Uppsala Health Summit, a plenary programme will guide and inspire the workshop dialogue. Confirmed speakers in plenary sessions include Dr Mariângela Simão, WHO Assistant Director General for Drug Access, Vaccines and Pharmaceuticals, Professor Max Parkin of the Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, and the African Cancer Registry Network, and Professor Arnie Purushotham of the Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai.

For more information, please contact:

Madeleine Neil, Project Manager, Uppsala Health Summit
+46 18 471 19 37, +46 70 425 0891
Madeleine.neil@uadm.uu.se