DAVOS, Switzerland – A new global initiative that includes founding partner UPMC was launched today at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos, signaling a dramatic shift in the way international organizations help country and city leaders address the growing burden of cancer.
Called “C/Can 2025: City Cancer Challenge,” the effort aims to increase the number of people with access to quality cancer treatment and care in cities around the world with a population greater than 1 million.
This first-of-its-kind, multisector initiative has been pioneered by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), in partnership with the World Economic Forum, the World Bank, UPMC and others.
With 1 in 3 people directly affected by cancer, the disease is one of the world’s most pressing health concerns, killing over 8 million people per year—more than HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. Cancer is estimated to cost world economies as much as $1.16 trillion annually—a figure that is projected to grow exponentially if action is not taken now to reduce the spiraling growth in the number of cases and the impact on both individuals and health care budgets.
In the first phase of the challenge, C/Can 2025 will target select cities from low- and middle-income countries where the need is greatest. These “key learning cities” will provide insight on how the international and local community and the public sector can best work together to implement the shared ambitions of C/Can 2025. The first three cities that have committed to the challenge are: Asunción, Paraguay; Cali, Colombia; and Yangon, Myanmar.
“This is a milestone for the health and development communities in that it is the first time such an international coalition of multisectoral organizations has been established to work with cities on improving cancer treatment and care,” said Cary Adams, chief executive officer of UICC. “This is a call to action for all sectors to support city governments with populations above 1 million to respond to the rising epidemic of cancer and show the world that, together, we can tackle this disease and save lives.”
“As an international leader in providing high-quality cancer care, UPMC is a natural partner for this ambitious effort,” noted Charles Bogosta, president of UPMC International and UPMC CancerCenter, a partner with the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. “With more experience in international cancer care than any other academic medical center, we are proud to be part of a coalition that will improve the quality of cancer care around the world.”
UPMC will serve on the steering committee for C/Can 2025 and will be part of the teams that assess the gaps in cancer care in participating cities and in designing solutions to fill those needs.
C/Can 2025 anticipates upward of 80 cities being committed to the challenge by the end of 2019 and that by 2025, when the United Nations measures progress against global non-communicable disease targets, that the cancer community will be able to show how cities around the world are curing more cancer patients than ever before.
Founding partners of C/Can 2025 include: the World Economic Forum, The World Bank, American Society of Clinical Oncology, The Icon Group, National Cancer Institute, UPMC and a coalition of 22 pharmaceutical companies.