The six themes provide the framework through which the global cancer community will be invited to deliver a suite of innovative and interactive sessions covering the full spectrum of cancer control. A number of threads cutting across the six themes have been identified, including equity, patient perspective, leadership and sustainable impact.
EXECUTIVE PROGRAMME LEADS
Science and Policy Advisor at the World Cancer Research Fund International (WCRFI)
Dr Kate Allen has a combination of academic, private sector and not-for-profit experience. She currently works as Science and Policy Advisor at the World Cancer Research Fund International (wcrf.org), focusing on the role of food, nutrition and physical activity in cancer prevention and survival. Kate is particularly interested in the use of scientific evidence to help promote and effect policy change, as well as creating bridges and building capacity between the cancer and nutrition communities.
Previously Kate worked at the Institute of Cancer Research in London and Sutton, where she set up an award-winning Interactive Education Unit - recognised as an area of exceptional practice by the Quality Assurance Agency - producing materials for scientists, healthcare professionals, students, patients and the general public. Before that Kate worked at Medi Cine International, a medical communications agency, where she developed educational materials across all media (print, video, audio, digital), mainly for specialist physician audiences.
Kate has a neurosciences PhD and worked originally as a scientist at the Institute of Neurology and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery at Queen Square, London and the Royal College of Surgeons of England.
Director of the Global Health Catalyst and chair of the Lancet Commission on cancer in sub-Saharan Africa
- Dr Wil Ngwa is Director of the Global Health Catalyst, a professor of Global Health and Radiation Oncology, and ICTU distinguished professor of Public Health
- He is a chair of the Lancet Oncology Commission for sub-Saharan Africa and one of the leaders of the Cancer Moonshot Lancet Oncology Commission
- He is a Rutgers Presidential Faculty Scholar and has held visiting professorships at the Universities of Heidelberg Germany and University of Pennsylvania
- He co-directs the Africa-Oxford-Harvard-Hopkins (AfrOX-H2) Clinical Trials network
- He is co-founder of the Global Oncology University, with an award-winning collaborative education platform that offers everyone access to the same world class education and training available at the world’s best institutions.
- Dr Ngwa has won over 35 prestigious awards/honors at Harvard, Johns Hopkins, from the United States National Institutes of Health, international professional societies and organizations, and foundations for his leading efforts in global health and innovation
- He currently serves as an Advisor for the USA government on Global Health
- He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Buea, Cameroon; his masters and doctoral training at the University of Leipzig Germany, and clinical training at MD Anderson Cancer Center and Harvard Medical School.
Chief of the Oncology department, University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG)
Prof. Olivier Michielin obtained a Masters of Physics in 1991 at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and a Medical Degree from the University of Lausanne in 1997. He pursued his PhD training under the supervision of Jean-Charles Cerottini (Ludwig Institute) and Martin Karplus (Harvard and Strasbourg Universities, Chemistry Nobel Prize Laureate 2013). He was appointed Group Leader of the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics in 2002 and became an Assistant Professor at the Medical Faculty of Lausanne in 2004. In parallel, he has trained as a medical oncologist and obtained his board certification in 2007 at the Department of oncology of the Lausanne University Hospital. Prof. Olivier Michielin is mainly focused on translational and precision oncology, developing new molecularly defined therapeutic approaches based on original bioinformatics techniques developed in his laboratory, as well as precision oncology programs based on multi-omics strategies and data science at the national level. Prof. Olivier Michielin is currently the Chair of the Department of Oncology and the Precision Oncology Service at the Geneva University Hospital and a co-Director of the Swiss Cancer Center Léman (SCCL).
2024 World Cancer Congress Themes CO-CHAIRS
1. PREVENTION, screening & early detection
Cancer Council Victoria, Australia
Cancer Research UK, United Kingdom
The programme in this theme will explore primary prevention, including major risk factors, health promotion, examples of best practices in new evidence-based prevention strategies, and vaccines. Exposure to environmental risk factors and unhealthy environments will be included, as well as new areas of development in policy, programme management, communications, and education.
- Risk stratification
- Artificial intelligence in cancer screening
- Multicancer early detection tests (MCED)
- Prevention in high-risk groups
- Successful health promotion and cancer prevention
- Advocacy and partnerships
- Blood tests
- Effective policies for cancer prevention
- Economics of prevention
- Imaging and endoscopy
- Media and communications
- Major cancer risk factors
- Alcohol and cancer
- Diet, weight and physical activity
- Ultraprocessed foods and cancer
- Role of sugar and sugary drinks
- UV and cancer
- Environment and workplace
- Air pollution and cancer
- Tobacco and cancer (please refer to the Tobacco Control theme)
- Prevention and cancer inequalities
- Hard to reach populations: people with mental illness; indigenous populations; culturally diverse populations; low-income populations
- Health literacy
- Access to information and programs
2. cancer research & Progress
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), United States
The programme in this theme will be curated to highlight recent scientific and clinical advances in aetiology, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer, with a particular focus on post-pandemic recovery. What lessons were learned during the COVID-19 pandemic and what research was done to help cancer health systems regain lost ground and strengthen provision to address the cancer burden in the future? What practices were implemented during the pandemic and what evidence was collected to support modifying the delivery of care? What new modalities or treatment algorithms were proven to have greater efficacy or effectiveness and could have an enduring legacy to overcome inequalities and inequities in cancer care. Topics in these sessions will showcase scientific, translational, clinical, and technological advancements alongside Implementation science and behavioural research.
- Artificial intelligence/deep learning/big data
- Precision oncology (targeted therapies and genomics, matching treatment to the patient and tumor)
- Advances in clinical trial design (pragmatic, patient-centric, decentralized)
- Optimizing cancer treatment in older populations (geriatric oncology) (maybe also a bullet for younger populations – peds, AYA?)
- Progress in cancer treatment – systemic therapies, radiation, surgery
- Treatment-related adverse events and management - Measuring impact of treatment on the patient - PROs/QoL
- Palliative care and end of life research
- Telemedicine and remote medicine and monitoring (including remote treatment planning, virtual tumor boards, etc)
- Implementation science and advancing evidence-based projects to scale
- Behavioural research
3. healthcare systems & policies
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)
This theme adds value by channeling intellectual effort, collaborations, access to shared resources to stimulate dialogue about implementing global commitments at a national level, as well as strengthen national, regional and local health systems and guiding quality improvement across different aspects of sustainable development, policy and planning, infrastructure, measurement, reporting and performance.
- UHC and making cancer care funding sustainable
- Access to cancer medicine and technology
- Harnessing data for better health coutcomes
- Building cancer information systems
- Monitoring and evaluation of efficiency and quality of cancer care
- Using technology to drive cancer control and access to care
- Delivering quality cancer care services, including building the cancer workforce
- Patient navigation system
- Cancer and sustainable cities
- Political, legislative and regulatory system barriers and solutions to enhance cancer control
- Health systems research relevant to cancer
- Partnerships for better cancer control and care policies: advancing SDG17
4. cancer treatment & palliative care
African Palliative Care Association (APCA), Uganda
Carlos Rodriguez Galindo
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, United States
This theme will examine novel interventions to support patient engagement and survivorship in a variety of cancer care delivery settings. It focuses on patient experience and quality of outcome, exploring patient and family engagement, wrestles with rights and expectations of cancer patients and their families and the challenges of access, fairness and consistency of experience and care. It will explore the role of complimentary therapies, identify experiences with alternative treatments and invite challenging discussions about balance of investment and patient power. It invites exploration of measurement issues, prioritisation of service delivery, communication skills of health care professionals, and tools to drive health care facility culture and survivorship. Fundamental questions around palliative care, pain relief and end-of-life issues are invited.
- Overcoming barriers to palliative care globally
- Universal Health Coverage & advocacy for palliative care
- Measuring outcomes in palliative care (clinical, organizational, utilization, national progress)
- Access to essential palliative care and cancer treatment medicines
- Integration of palliative and oncology care for adults and children
- Improving and standardizing education and training in palliative care
- Health workforce issues in palliative care
- Clinical guideline development in oncology and palliative care for improved symptom management
- Policy development in palliative care
- Palliative care in primary care
- Implementation of palliative care in resource-limited settings
- Sustainable financing for palliative care
- Patient and caregiver perspectives on palliative needs
- Building capacity in oncology and palliative care for adolescents and young adults
- Resilience and self-care for healthcare workers
5. tobacco control
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, United States
Alliance contre le tabac, France
This Theme will examine the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) and its guidelines, providing the foundation for countries to implement and manage tobacco control.
- Monitor tobacco use and prevention policies
Data are necessary to implement and evaluate effective tobacco control policies. Only through accurate measurement of the tobacco epidemic and of the interventions to control it can those interventions be effectively managed and improved. Good monitoring provides policy-makers with information about the extent of the epidemic in a country and how to tailor policies to the needs of different groups. Disseminating the information broadly and effectively gives all stakeholders a clearer picture of the epidemic and provides advocates for tobacco control with important evidence to bolster the case for stronger policies.
- Protect people from exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke
All people have a right to breathe clean air. There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke, which causes heart disease, cancer and many other diseases. Even brief exposure can cause serious damage. Smoke-free legislation is popular wherever it is enacted, and these laws do not harm business. Any country, regardless of income level, can implement effective smoke-free legislation. Only a total ban on smoking in public places, including all indoor workplaces, protects people from the harms of second-hand smoke, helps smokers quit and reduces youth smoking. Guidelines to Article 8 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control help countries know exactly what to do to protect their people from second-hand smoke.
- Offer help to quit tobacco use
The more than one billion smokers worldwide who are addicted to tobacco are victims of the tobacco epidemic. When informed of the risks, most tobacco users want to quit, but few get help and support to overcome their dependence. Health-care systems have primary responsibility for treating tobacco dependence. Programmes should include tobacco cessation advice incorporated into primary health-care services, easily accessible and free telephone help lines (known as quit lines), and access to low-cost medicines. All health-care workers should become advocates for tobacco control. Governments can use some tobacco tax revenues to help tobacco users free themselves from addiction.
- Warn about the dangers of tobacco
Few tobacco users understand the full extent of their health risk. Health warnings on tobacco packaging reach all smokers and cost governments nothing. As laid out in guidelines to Article 11 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, warnings should appear on both the front and back of the packaging and be large and clear and describe specific illnesses caused by tobacco. Pictures of disease have a greater impact than words alone. In addition, anti-tobacco advertisements can publicise tobacco’s dangers. Use of graphic images demonstrating the harm of tobacco use can be especially effective in convincing users to quit. In addition to paid advertising, reaching out to the news media can effectively and inexpensively disseminate anti-tobacco messaging.
- Enforce bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship
The tobacco industry spends tens of billions of dollars worldwide each year on advertising, promotion and sponsorship. A total ban on direct and indirect advertising, promotion and sponsorship, as provided in guidelines to Article 13 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, can substantially reduce tobacco consumption and protect people, particularly youths, from industry marketing tactics. To be effective, bans must be complete and apply to all marketing categories. Otherwise, the industry merely redirects resources to nonregulated marketing channels. The tobacco industry strongly opposes such comprehensive bans because they are effective in reducing tobacco use.
- Raise taxes on tobacco
Increasing the price of tobacco through higher taxes is the single most effective way to encourage tobacco users to quit and prevent children from starting to smoke. Taxes on inexpensive tobacco products should be equivalent to higher-priced products, such as premium-brand cigarettes, to prevent substitution in consumption. Taxes need to be increased regularly to correct for inflation and consumer purchasing power. Tobacco taxes are generally well accepted by the public and raise government revenues. Allocating tax revenues for tobacco control and other important health and social programmes further increases their popularity.
6. people living with cancer
King Hussein Cancer Centre, Jordan
Unidos Contra el Cáncer CR, Costa Rica
This Theme aims to integrate patient voices through experiences and best practice sharing. Here we examine the critical role of patient support programmes and the organisation of patient support groups. This includes the specific challenges met in developing and maintaining activities for patients, their relatives and caregivers.
- Patient voices
We are looking for case studies highlighting experiences and best practices sharing regarding the engagement of patients and caregivers and the representation of their perspectives in all phases of the cancer control process, from advocacy and awareness-raising to patient-centred healthcare systems. The case studies can also cover community-based interventions, mobilisation of patients and survivors as well the representation of the diversity of patient voices as a critical aspect of the improvement of cancer prevention and control at the local, regional and global levels.
Patient advocacy - guidelines
Patient communication, date and medical information - including in the digital era
Educational needs of the patient community
Opportunities for collaboration amongst patients (programmes, online platforms...)
Cultural sensitivities and stigma
Disparities and prevalence of cancer in racial/ethnic minorities
New models for community mobilisation and engagement
- Survivorship and patient support
Patient support programmes are playing a critical role in assisting cancer patients and ensuring the quality of care along the cancer continuum. We are looking for sessions integrating the practical and psychosocial accompaniment of patients and caregivers to ensure access to adapted care and improve patient outcomes, the quality of life and experience during and after the cancer journey. It also includes interventions dedicated to rehabilitation programmes for survivors.
Access to care
Quality cancer care
Patient navigation programmes
Value in cancer care
Drugs shortages, especially in LMICs
Quality of life: when do we stop treating?
Life after cancer
Sexuality and cancer treatment
Patients' financial considerations, including health insurance concerns
Definition and measurement of patients' care expectations (service features, accessibility of information, environmental factors, equipment availability and functionality, etc.)
The cancer journey for families of cancer patients
- Organisational development
As organisations, patient support groups are facing specific challenges in terms of developing, maintaining and increasing their activities with a view to achieving their objectives and improving their impact on patients and caregivers. While patient groups are gaining in professionalism and expertise, they are also facing specific challenges such as a higher dependence on volunteerism, access to qualified support providers and increasing needs for expertise in fundraising and advocacy. We are looking for sessions integrating the successes and challenges of organisational aspects of patient support groups.
Organisational development of patient support groups: how does it work?
Impact of shrinking health care resources
Innovative sustainable funding models within today’s limited budgets
Navigating the legal and policy environments for patients and patient support groups
Peer to peer support especially at the leadership level
Educational needs and training opportunities for patient support groups
Educational needs of the professional oncology community
Collaboration across patient support groups, across regions and across diseases
Professor David Hill PhD, MD (hon), DSc (hon) is a behavioural scientist who served as CEO of the Cancer Council Victoria (Australia) from 2002 to 2011, and as President of UICC from 2008 to 2010.
He has professorial appointments at the University of Melbourne and University of Newcastle (Australia) and was made an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) for his contributions in the field of cancer control.