Page 0033

role, gathering cancer experts at the international, regional

and country level to coordinate efforts with the global

strategy. This simultaneous, top-down, bottom-up approach

is considered the best way to face the problem, combining

international political and governmental pressure with the

participation of scientific groups and civil society at the local

level.

The ESMO Global Cancer Task Force

The importance of NCD professional organizations in NCD

control was clearly stated by WHO Director-General during

the UN High Level Meeting (HLM) in 2011. ESMO was very

active at the time and spoke at pre-UN meetings such as the

WHO Global Forum in Moscow, it petitioned EU ministries of

health for support, and the ESMO President (at the time, David

Kerr) personally attended the UN HLM itself in New York.

Since achieving official status with WHO in 2013, ESMO

has presented a Statement on the WHO Global NCD Action

Plan at the 66th World Health Assembly in 2013.6 The

statement was supported by the Pain and Policy Studies

Group (PPSG) of the University of Wisconsin Carbone

Cancer Center, the Union for International Cancer Control

(UICC), and the International Network for Cancer Treatment

and Research (INCTR). It was also delivered to the ministries

of health of 28 European countries by the ESMO national

representatives. It highlighted the critical need for National

cancer control programmes at the country level and the

relevance of linking screening and early detection with health

care systems capacity. Another important recommendation

from the ESMO document is to build upon the strengthening

of primary care for NCDs as requested by GAP and to extend

treatment options at all levels of care settings by including

opportunities for surgery, radiotherapy and systemic

therapies that can offer cure and improve the quality-of-life

and survival of cancer patients in all resource settings. ESMO

experts also strongly emphasize the need and feasibility to

prioritize the availability of a basic set of treatment options,

including palliative care interventions and improvement of

access to morphine for pain relief.

To achieve these goals, ESMO is leading a collaborative

effort to help in the analysis and mapping of the current

situation of the availability of cancer medicines globally as

well as in the development of better tools to advise Member

States on achieving the cancer contribution to the global

NCD target of 80% availability of affordable essential

medicines.

This has resulted in the creation of an ESMO Global Cancer

Task Force, whose mission is to provide WHO with guidance

and technical expertise to interpret the evidence and share

best practice with Member States who are tasked with

implementing the Plan at national levels.

Contributors with ESMO to defining the initial goals of this

Task Force currently include the American Society of Clinical

Oncology (ASCO), the European School of Oncology (ESO),

the Indian Society of Medical and Pediatric Oncology

(ISMPO), the Institute of Cancer Policy at Kings College, the

International Cancer Control Congress Organization (ICCC),

the International Network for Cancer Treatment and

Research (INCTR), the International Society of Geriatric

Oncology (SIOG), the Pain and Policy Studies Group of the

University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center (PPSG), the

Latin-American and Caribbean Society of Medical Oncology

(SLACOM), the London School of Economics (LSE), the

Middle East Cancer Consortium (MECC), the University

Clinical Hospital of the University of Valencia's Medical

School, the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC),

the US NCI Center for Global Health and the WHO. Other

organizations are envisioned to join the network now that its

objectives are clearly defined.

Task Force objectives

The ESMO Global Cancer Task Force seeks to support our

commitment to the global cancer community and reinforce

our belief that patients everywhere should have access to the

best available treatment. Its collaborative network intends to

work in partnership and span all five continents and the

complete spectrum of cancer control. Particular emphasis

will be given to the areas detailed below. Our intention is to

do our utmost to provide ideas and suggestions to WHO

according to WHO priorities and timelines.

Fill gaps in scientific cancer evidence

The Global Cancer Task Force will help identify what cancer

evidence is missing at the global level in order to develop

resource-based guidelines, beginning with the cancers listed

CANCER CONTROL PLANNING

32 CANCER CONTROL 2014

In collaboration with our colleagues in

low- and middle-income countries, we

aim to provide recommendations to

WHO on the Package of Essential

Non-communicable Disease

Interventions (PEN) on how to

integrate cancer into primary health

care in low-resource settings

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