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Global cancer control: responding to the growing burden, rising costs and inequalities in access
  1. Gerald W Prager1,
  2. Sofia Braga2,
  3. Branislav Bystricky3,
  4. Camilla Qvortrup4,
  5. Carmen Criscitiello5,
  6. Ece Esin6,
  7. Gabe S Sonke7,
  8. Guillem Argilés Martínez8,
  9. Jean-Sebastian Frenel9,
  10. Michalis Karamouzis10,
  11. Michiel Strijbos11,
  12. Ozan Yazici12,
  13. Paolo Bossi13,
  14. Susana Banerjee14,
  15. Teresa Troiani15,
  16. Alexandru Eniu16,
  17. Fortunato Ciardiello17,
  18. Josep Tabernero18,
  19. Christoph C Zielinski19,
  20. Paolo G Casali20,
  21. Fatima Cardoso21,
  22. Jean-Yves Douillard22,
  23. Svetlana Jezdic22,
  24. Keith McGregor22,
  25. Gracemarie Bricalli22,
  26. Malvika Vyas22,
  27. André Ilbawi23
  1. 1Department of Medicine I, Comprehensive Cancer Center Vienna, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
  2. 2Instituto CUF Oncologia, NOVA Medical School, Lisboa, Portugal
  3. 3Faculty Hospital Trencin, Trencin, Slovakia
  4. 4Department of Oncology, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark
  5. 5Division of Early Drug Development for Innovative Therapies, Istituto Europeo di Oncologia, Milano, Lombardia, Italy
  6. 6Ankara Oncology Education and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey
  7. 7Division of Medical Oncology, Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  8. 8Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO), Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, Barcelona, Spain
  9. 9Institut de Cancerologie de l’Ouest Saint-Herblain, Quest Saint-Herblain, France
  10. 10Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece
  11. 11Iridium Cancer Network, AZ KLINA Hospitals, Brasschaat, Belgium
  12. 12Department of Medical Oncology, Ankara Numune Education and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey
  13. 13Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale Tumori Milano, Milano, Italy
  14. 14Royal Marsden Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  15. 15Università degli Studi della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Naples, Italy
  16. 16Cancer Institute “Ion Chiricuta”, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
  17. 17Università degli Studi della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Naples, Italy
  18. 18Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO), Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
  19. 19Comprehensive Cancer Center, Medical University Vienna, General Hospital, and Vienna Cancer Center, Vienna, Austria
  20. 20Istituto Nazionale Tumori, Milan, Italy
  21. 21Breast Unit, Champalimaud Clinical Center, Lisbon, Portugal
  22. 22European Society for Medical Oncology, Lugano, Switzerland
  23. 23Cancer Control, Management of Noncommunicable Diseases Unit Department for Management of Noncommunicable Diseases, Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention (NVI), World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Gerald W Prager, Department of Medicine, Comprehensive Cancer Center Vienna, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna 1090, Austria; gerald.prager{at}


The cancer burden is rising globally, exerting significant strain on populations and health systems at all income levels. In May 2017, world governments made a commitment to further invest in cancer control as a public health priority, passing the World Health Assembly Resolution 70.12 on cancer prevention and control within an integrated approach. In this manuscript, the 2016 European Society for Medical Oncology Leadership Generation Programme participants propose a strategic framework that is in line with the 2017 WHO Cancer Resolution and consistent with the principle of universal health coverage, which ensures access to optimal cancer care for all people because health is a basic human right. The time for action is now to reduce barriers and provide the highest possible quality cancer care to everyone regardless of circumstance, precondition or geographic location. The national actions and the policy recommendations in this paper set forth the vision of its authors for the future of global cancer control at the national level, where the WHO Cancer Resolution must be implemented if we are to reduce the cancer burden, avoid unnecessary suffering and save as many lives as possible.

  • global cancer control
  • cancer treatment inequalities
  • global cancer burden

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  • Funding This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Disclaimer AI is a staff member of WHO. The author alone is responsible for the views expressed in this paper and they do not necessarily represent the decisions, policy or views of WHO.

  • Competing interests AE: Currently conducting research sponsored by AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Celltrion, Novartis, Roche. JT: Advisory Boards for Amgen, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Celgene, Chugai, Genentech, Lilly, MSD, Merck Serono, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, Sanofi, Symphogen, Taiho, and Takeda. FCi: Advisory Boards: Merck Serono, Amgen, Roche, Bayer, Lilly, Servier. Research funding: Bayer, Roche, Merck Serono. GP: Honorarium for advisory boards or speakers fee: Roche, Celgene, Shire, Merck, Amgen, Lilly, BMS, Servier, Taiho, Halozyme, Sanofi. PC: Honoraria for consultancy/advisory role and/or for lectures from: Bayer, Blueprint Medicines, Deciphera Pharmaceuticals, Eisai, Eli Lilly, Nektar Ther., Novartis, Pfizer, PharmaMar. At his institution, his Unit received funds for research from: AmgenDompé, Arog Pharmaceuticals, Bayer, Eisai, Eli Lilly, Daiichi Sankyo Pharma, Epizyme Inc., Novartis, PharmaMar. MS: Conducts research sponsored by Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Advisory Boards: BMS, Novartis, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Leo Pharma. Speaker bureau for BMA, Novartis. Travel funding: Novartis, BMS, Astellas, Ipsen. All other authors declare no competing interests related to this paper.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Correction notice This article has been corrected since it was first published. The author name ’Branoslav Bystricky' has been corrected to ’Branislav Bystricky'. In the Acknowledgements, Lone Kristofferson has been corrected to Lone Kristoffersen.

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