18 October 2023 Environment News


UICC's World Cancer Leaders’ Summit 2023 convened 350 top leaders of cancer and health organisations from over 70 countries in Long Beach, CA


Wednesday 18 October 2023 (Geneva, Switzerland)— UICC's World Cancer Leaders’ Summit 2023 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 in medicines such as AI, mRNA vaccines, immunotherapy and multi-cancer early detection. 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

The World Cancer Leaders’ Summit is 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).

About the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)

The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) is the largest global membership organisation in the world dedicated to the global fight against cancer. Founded in 1933, UICC has over 1,150 member organisations in some 172 countries and territories. It enjoys consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and has official relations with the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). UICC has over 50 partners, including associations, companies and foundations committed to the fight against cancer. UICC is a founding member of the NCD Alliance, the McCabe Centre for Law & Cancer and the International Cancer Control Partnership (ICCP). UICC established the City Cancer Challenge Foundation in January 2019 and the Access to Oncology Medicines (ATOM) Coalition in May 2022.

UICC’s mission is to both unite and support the cancer community in its efforts to reduce the global cancer burden, promote greater equity and ensure that cancer control remains a priority on the global health and development agenda.


About World Cancer Leaders’ Summit

The World Cancer Leaders’ Summit is an invitation-only event that brings together key decision-makers from around the world and encourages timely debate on emerging issues related to cancer. It provides an important forum to secure a coordinated, multileveled global response to address the spiraling cancer epidemic.

The World Cancer Leaders’ Summit offers global decision-makers are offered a privileged platform to interact, share experience and expertise, and shape how governments, NGOs, civil society, academia and other stakeholders can work to gather and shape the task of eliminating cancer as a life-threatening disease for future generations.

The Summit complements other signature events organised by UICC, which are World Cancer Day and the World Cancer Congress. The Summit plays a pivotal role in this portfolio of global events by ensuring that the nine targets detailed in the World Cancer Declaration to be achieved by 2025 are appropriately recognised and addressed at the highest political levels.

Learn more about WCLS 2023

00;00;00;00 - 00;00;03;11
Cary Adams, CEO, Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)
Today I'm at the World Cancer Leaders Summit in Long Beach, California. Now, this summit is an event that runs every other year to bring the global leadership of cancer control together to discuss what the key issues are in cancer control, country by country,

Looking at those long term issues, which maybe we don't consider on a day to day basis, like antimicrobial resistance, the obesity epidemic that we're seeing around the world and the crisis which are affecting us day by day, causing refugees to miss out on their important cancer treatment. It's an important day for the cancer community and I look forward to seeing it through.

00;00;31;22 - 00;00;39;28
Hannah Johnes, TV Producer, BBC Breakfast and moderator, World Cancer Leaders’ Summit
This year's summit theme is Cancer Control in a Changing World, and it could not be more pertinent. The current international situation requires collective solutions for pressing global challenges.

00;00;47;17 - 00;00;50;00
Dr Andreas Charalambous, President, European Cancer Organisation
Each crisis is not the same. And in the context of cancer what does all this mean? It means the people needing care for cancer, they cannot have it.

00;00;59;00 - 00;01;07;16
Dr Nazik Hammad, Faculty Lead for the Toronto Addis Ababa Academic Collaboration, We always think of health as, you know, a product of peace, but we need to think of peace can come from health. Because if you look at all these areas where these conflicts are happening now cancer is one of the major health threats.

00;01;16;01 - 00;01;29;14
Dr Elisabete Weiderpass, Director, International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC)
The more we understand the biological processes, risk factors and the health determinants driving cancer, the more effectively we can prevent, detect, diagnose and treat it.

00;01;29;14 - 00;01;43;25
Dr Elisabete Weiderpass, Director, International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC)
The world is facing a pandemic of overweight and obesity disease caused by the abundance of food, but also on the quality of food that has been changed throughout the last decades.

Obesity is a cause of many different types of cancer, and most of the most common cancer types are in fact related to obesity. These include breast cancer and colorectal cancer, for example, which are both increasing worldwide.

00;02;01;15 - 00;02;23;12
H.E. Jeannette Kagame, First Lady of Rwanda
About 40%, equivalent to 4 million, of cancer related deaths would have been avoided by only implementing effective cancer prevention strategies, strategies that are attainable across all continents, including in low income countries. It’s a tough reality to confront.

00;02;23;12 - 00;02;52;19
Dr Elisabete Weiderpass, Director, International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC)
The total number of new cancer cases is expected to increase to over 30 million by 2040. And the number of cancer deaths is also expected to increase to over 16 million. Cancer will not affect the world population uniformly. Inequities in cancer outcomes are widespread between and within countries, leading to avoidable and premature deaths.

00;02;52;19 - 00;02;55;05
Karen Nakawala Chilowa, Executive Director, Teal Sisters Foundation
I am a cervical cancer survivor, and I come from Zambia, with the highest cancer burden in the world.

And I'm sure we all know that. 19 out of 20 countries with the highest burden are in Africa.

00;03;08;03 - 00;03;18;11
Kathleen Schmeler, Executive Director of Global Oncology, MD Anderson Cancer Center (speaking of cervical cancer)
85 to 90% of cases, unfortunately, are still occurring in low and middle income countries. We have a lot of work to do, and I think a lot of that is really developing point of care and affordable technologies for screening and diagnosis.

And then we can't do any of this without training and education.

00;03;25;18 - 00;03;34;24
Dr Miriam Mutebi, Consultant Breast Surgical Oncologist, Aga Khan University, Nairobi, UICC Board Member
Cancer care specifically is not cheap anywhere in the world, but we do know that on average, patients in sub-Saharan Africa are paying 3 to 4 times, for instance, the cost of a drug. For us as a cancer community, really bringing the message around health investments and really the dividends are achieved by, you know, detecting cancers earlier, having less cost to the system and actually having more productive members of our communities.

00;03;51;05 - 00;04;01;08
Dr Maira Caleffi, Head of Breast Center Hospital Moinhos de Vento, UICC Board Member
This is a great issue. Nowadays, when we propose something to the government, they want to know the impact and how it's going to cost.

On the other side, if you see this as an investment because this person is going to go back to their family, to the social life, and also to be productive to this society–this is an investment.

00;04;18;22 - 00;04;23;17
Pasquale Frega, President, LACan International, Novartis
If you look at, for instance, the diagnosis, the early diagnosis of breast cancer, we know that in the sort of western world is close to 60% when it's down to 20% in Mexico or 10% of other low income countries, which essentially makes the risk double versus the western world.

00;04;40;07 - 00;04;44;16
Dr Ophira Ginsberg, Senior Advisor for Clinical Research, National Cancer Institute, USA

There's a lot we can do if we can properly identify the problem. Right? And consider women more than the sum of their body parts.

Women are not breasts, women are not cervixes, women are people.

We are also care providers, scientists, policymakers and leaders. And this panel discussion is very different, bringing together all of those voices together and I'm hoping will inspire transformational change.

00;05;12;11 - 00;05;23;24
Dr Dan Milner, Executive Director, Access to Oncology Medicines Coalition (ATOM)
where I see the most exciting innovations over the next year would be in things like artificial intelligence, where I think it's a rapidly evolving, easily deployable.

And I think there are many tools that are already available or are being developed that will massively catapult the cancer journey for patients, for clinicians, for diagnosticians. And it's just a matter of using those tools effectively and safely.

00;05;38;22 - 00;05;47;28
Kenji Lopes, Founder & President Cancer Warriors Mexico Foundation, UICC Board Member
We just presented in a formal way before the Mexican Senate the bill regarding a general cancer law.

So we are very happy with this summit and the opportunity of the UCC providing us this ecosystem to interact with each other and to understand how different countries are addressing the same public health problem, which is cancer.

00;06;08;07 - 00;06;18;06
Cary Adams, CEO, Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)
Well, in this room we have got cancer control specialists, we've got leaders of cancer society, we've got patient groups, private sector companies from all different sectors.

When you bring that combination of different experiences and knowledge together, you get a diffusion of ideas and you get people to respect the fact that we can't live in a silo when we're talking about cancer control.

I'm hoping that people who live here feel they've got an understanding of those issues sufficiently to have conversations with their governments.

00;06;35;05 - 00;06;42;03
Dr Miriam Mutebi, Consultant Breast Surgical Oncologist, Aga Khan University, Nairobi, UICC Board Member
It's really looking through how do we as a collective oncology community work together in order to impact change?

00;06;42;03 - 00;06;56;27
Prof. Jeff Dunn AO, President, Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)
You know, sometimes people don't like to use the word hope so much, but that's the sense I get; that that we are hopeful. Notwithstanding the challenges we are optimistic and we know what's ahead of us.

18 October 2023