Page 0123

socially and fiscally achievable in the loco-regional context)

and the relationships existing (or not) between the key

stakeholders whose support would be essential to

implement a national, population-based programme (5).

Since the first congress in Vancouver, ICCC's agenda has

evolved to cover topics such as the implementation of cancer

control plans and the integration of public health and clinical

medicine approaches to reducing the burden of illness. One

further concern among others is the integration of plans to

control cancer and NCDs that share common risk factors.

The second ICCC congress was held for the first time in

Latin America in 2007. Its principles had a strong influence

on the participating countries to start planning a

coordinated regional cancer strategy and encouraged the

setting up of the Latin American and Caribbean Alliance for

Cancer Control. The Alliance, which was created in the

following year, had the strategic vision to establish a

collaborative working process, having the building of a

regional community following good practice as one of its

main guidelines and with a new model of collective work by

sharing knowledge and programmes of common interest (6).

Unlike other regions, Latin America is characterized by

ethnic, cultural and linguistic similarities among countries,

factors that are an important booster of integration and

favours cooperative efforts through networks. The Latin

American and Caribbean Alliance for Cancer Control

therefore found fertile ground to flourish quickly. Some

results achieved by the Alliance between 2007 and 2010

were:

‰ putting on an international symposium on early

detection for breast cancer in Rio de Janeiro in April

2009;

‰ implementing the Latin American and Caribbean

Network of Tumor Banks in 2008;

‰ revitalizing the Ibero-American Network for Tobacco

Control (RIACT);

‰ staging meetings to improve the quality of cancer

registries - which were organized by the World Health

Organization, the International Agency for Research on

Cancer (IARC), the Pan American Health Organization

(PAHO) and the Union for International Cancer Control

(UICC) - in Ecuador (2008) and Brazil (2009), which

brought together 12 countries from the region;

‰ establishing the Ionizing Radiation Quality Assurance

Program which unites institutions in Latin America;

‰ fostering the creation of the United States-Latin

America Cancer Research Network (US-LA CRN), which

was established in 2009 between five countries in the

Alliance and the United States.

In spite of those achievements, the Alliance is seeking to

make further progress, although it was not able to overcome

challenges such as the lack of institutionalization or getting

the formal commitments from the respective governments.

Clear rules for its operation were also missing as well as a

permanent infrastructure for providing support and

expanding partnerships (7).

RINC UNASUR - The Network of National Cancer

Institutes

With the creation of RINC by the UNASUR Health Council -

a supreme body composed of the 12 South American health

ministers - a new path for the development of networks

operated, managed and regulated under formal legal

instruments was traced. This led to a new and promising

scenario for productive collaboration schemes to be

implemented. Representatives of the Latin American and

Caribbean Alliance for Cancer Control gathered in Buenos

Aires, Argentina, in September 2010 to formally declare

their intention to constitute RINC.

According to the UNASUR regulations, each of the South

American nations - Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile,

Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname,

Uruguay and Venezuela - has the right to participate in the

network as a full member. Other countries from the former

Latin American and Caribbean Alliance (Cuba, Mexico,

Nicaragua, Guatemala and Panama) were incorporated by

RINC as associate members. Both full and associate

members have a seat on the Management Council, a steering

committee that approves strategies and projects that are

considered appropriate to the goals of the network. All

members are representatives of national institutions

responsible for cancer control strategies or assigned by their

governments.

The following strategic actions were identified by the

Management Council as priorities for RINC:

The International Cancer Control

Congress (ICCC) emerged as an

opportunity to discuss "what would be

necessary to convert current knowledge

of cancer control into directions and

actions that will enhance population

cancer and noncommunicable disease

(NCDs) outcomes"

REGIONAL INITIATIVES

CANCER CONTROL 2015 125

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