Two sessions have been scheduled where international political, civic and business leaders have the chance to discuss how they can work with the cancer community to turn the tide on cancer:
- Cancer Pathway to a Cure – What are the breakthroughs in cancer prevention and therapy? -an interactive dinner session on Friday January 23rd, and
- Globalization of Non-Communicable Diseases, a working session on the morning of Saturday January 24th.
Franco Cavalli, Chair of the World Oncology Forum – a gathering of leading clinicians, researchers, policy makers and industry representatives, convened and independently funded by the European School of Oncology in collaboration with The Lancet – will be leading calls at both sessions for agreement on a package of actions that could accelerate progress towards finding a cure or long-term control for cancer, and massively expand global access not just to prevention but also early detection, treatment and care.
This will be the first time cancer has been discussed at the World Economic Forum. Franco Cavalli, who played the key role in getting the issue onto the agenda said: “Every year cancer drains an estimated $2 trillion from the world economy in terms of lost output and the cost of treatment, equivalent to around 1.5% of global GDP, as well as wreaking terrible suffering on millions of individuals, families and communities.
“I greatly welcome the opportunity to discuss with international political, business and civic leaders about how we can work together to turn the tide on cancer.
“The message I will be bringing to Davos concerns the urgent need to work together to remove barriers that are impeding the development of and access to effective cancer therapies.
“We need to find new models of public-private partnership and change the whole ‘ecosystem’ for developing and evaluating new cancer therapies, to speed up progress and cut the development costs. We also need to draw on lessons learned from impressive progress in tackling cancer that has been achieved in recent years in countries such a Thailand and Brazil, as well as the successes of global initiatives in other disease areas including the GAVI alliance and the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
“There is a strong consensus among a broad section of the world oncology community about how we can turn the situation around, which we have spelled out in detail in appeals agreed at the World Oncology Forum in 2012 and 2014. However, it will require concerted and bold action at national and international levels.
“The World Economic Forum, with its emphasis on leadership and a public-private partnership approach to resolving major global challenges is the right place to discuss this issue, and I hope all sides will grasp this opportunity.”