Uppsala Health Summit

Uppsala Health Summit 2018: CARE FOR CANCER

Uppsala Castle, 14 – 15 June

Each year, more than 8 million people worldwide die from cancer. The numbers of new cases are projected to rise dramatically in the coming decades, especially in low and middle-income countries. While cancer still is one of our most deadly diseases, scientific breakthroughs open up for more patients to survive a cancer diagnosis. Incidence and prevalence are growing simultaneously, putting already strained health budgets under high pressure. Prevention by adopting a healthy personal life-style and avoiding harmful external exposures is important, but can only solve part of the problem.

Lack of resources to enable use of all the advancements in health care and the unequal access to treatments impose high demands on fair and effective healthcare governance and prioritizations.  As the Economist put it in a recent article: “Science will win the technical battle against cancer. But that is only half the fight”.

Uppsala Health Summit 2018, on the theme Care for Cancer will focus on how to open up opportunities for a growing number of patients, by making more efficient use of medical records, registries, biobanks and patients’ own reports and experiences, or in already approved substances?

As always at Uppsala Health Summit, we will convene selected decision makers and experts from academia, industry, policy, healthcare and civil society for crucial conversations on how to make better use of science and innovations for improved and more accessible cancer care globally.

The cross-cutting agenda will invite delegates to develop solutions around topics such as clinical relevance of biomarkers, implementing precision medicine in healthcare, data decision support for patients and healthcare, cancer survivors, strategies for improved use and development of cancer drugs, the role of physical training in treatment, and principles for prioritization and evaluation of new treatments.

The workshop program will be mixed with a plenum programme that features prominent speakers, putting spotlight on cross-cutting issues and most recent trends. The workshops and the plenum programme are currently under development. Make sure to check back here for details!

You can join the conversations by using the hashtag #UppsalaHealthSummit and tagging @Ua_healthsummit.

Invitations will be sent out in February. Who should be there? Nominate your candidate

BACKGROUND: WHY WE NEED TO CARE ABOUT CANCER

Supporting hands

According to the WHO, 8.2 million people died in cancer in 2012. An estimated 14.1 million new cases of cancer occurred worldwide in the same year. The incidence is projected to increase by 70 % over the next twenty years, a large majority of which will occur in low- and middle-income countries.

As our capacity to treat improves, more people are cured. But many will also continue to live with their disease. Thanks to advancements in health in other areas, people will live longer and more cancers will have time to develop. More countries must now prepare not only for prevention of cancer, but also for early diagnostics and efficient treatments. How can we deal with the pressure this puts on already strained healthcare budgets?

Life style related factors, particularly smoking, are estimated to cause one third of all cancer cases. Obesity and too little physical activity are other risk factors. Prevention is important, but we need to look at this from another angle. Two thirds of all cancers have other causes than life style, childhood cancers is one example. Ageing is in itself a major risk for developing cancer.

Few disease areas see a similar wave of new diagnostics and treatments reaching the market. But the costs for development and market release are high, and prices often high.

Studies from countries like Sweden show a strong correlation between a patient’s socio-economic background and the outcome after a cancer diagnosis. As the income gaps are increasing in most countries around the world, the right to equal access to cancer diagnostics and treatments must continue to be part of the public healthcare discussion, in high-income countries as well as in low and middle-income settings.

In May 2017, the World Health Assembly adopted a new resolution on cancer, a recognition of the fact that working on lifestyle prevention is not enough. Member states are asked to launch national cancer plans, including vaccination programs; develop and implement evidence-based protocols for management of cancer care, including access to early diagnosis, screening and essential medicines and other treatments.

Learn more about the public health perspective on cancer:  Interview with Uppsala Health Summit Programme Committee Chair, Emeritus Professor Lars Holmgren