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GLOBAL CANCER INITIATIVES

25 CANCER CONTROL 2021

this multidisciplinary grouping is dedicated to encouraging

and facilitating active collaborations between the UK cancer

community and partners in LMICs (4). In its first year UKGCN

has carried out a rapid mapping exercise to identify UK

colleagues who are active or interested in working with LMIC

partners in the projects that strengthen cancer control through

a variety of means such as research and education in poorer

resourced settings. Smaller specialist multi-disciplinary groups

are being formed to strengthen UK input to collaborative

projects led by LMIC partners.

Canadian Global Cancer Network

In November 2020, the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer

(CPAC) and the Princess Margaret Global Cancer Centre hosted

a Canadian Global Oncology Workshop to bring together over

a hundred Canadian leaders in global oncology and to discuss

opportunities for pan-Canadian collaboration in the field. This

workshop was the first step in the development of the Canadian

Global Cancer Network to connect individual global cancer

initiatives led by Canadians and to develop a coordinated

approach to advocacy, funding and priority-setting. Canadians

have a long history of engagement in global cancer control

initiatives, including significant contributions to global efforts on

health equity, access to treatment and universal health coverage,

education and leadership development, and advocacy around the

psychosocial needs of cancer patients and the need to address the

patient's experience along the full continuum of care.

The Canadian Global Cancer Network is in its early stages

of development and is focused on establishing a governance

structure that is inclusive of investigators across the country

engaged in different areas of global cancer control and that

engages those with the lived experience of cancer disparities,

including those from LMICs. The second Canadian Global

Oncology Workshop is planned for December 2021 to provide

a forum for Canadian cancer professionals to convene, share

ongoing work and discuss key issues in the field. This workshop

is also designed to provide an opportunity for networking and

mentorship, with a focus on including junior investigators

and trainees interested in developing a career in this field.

Specific sessions for brainstorming along key thematic areas

(e.g. health services research, clinical trials, education and

health professional development) are planned to facilitate

joint proposals along these themes. These proposals are

aimed to leverage and build upon the infrastructure of existing

partnerships between Canadian investigators and international

organizations and will demonstrate to federal funding

agencies that global oncology is a unique programmatic area

in need of support. Through this pan-Canadian collaboration,

a philosophy of international partnership that addresses

inequities in cancer control and that considers the concepts of privilege and allyship will be developed (5).

City Cancer Challenge: A multisectoral city-led

partnership for improving access to quality cancer care

Launched by the Union for International Cancer Control

(UICC) in 2017, City Cancer Challenge (C/Can) is a growing

network of cities and partners from across sectors working

together to improve access to quality cancer care. Established

as a standalone Foundation in 2019, C/Can is now operational

in nine cities across Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin

America, and is preparing to take on a new cohort of cities

throughout 2022 and 2023.

A key factor of the C/Can city engagement process (6) is

to support and connect cities through a growing portfolio of

technical cooperation and capacity development programmes

including international expert consultations, twinning

arrangements, peer exchange, and scientific visits.

For example, in Cali, Colombia, resource-appropriate

guidelines for the management of breast, cervical, prostate

and colorectal cancers were developed by local experts in

collaboration with the National Cancer Institute of Colombia

and with support from experts designated by C/Can partners

including The American Society of Clinical Oncology, American

Society of Clinical Pathology, International Society of Nurses in

Cancer Care, Oncology Nurse Society and the Latin-American

Palliative Care Association.

Despite the unique challenges presented by the global health

pandemic, cities like Cali have shown remarkable resilience

and adapted quickly, including by harnessing digital solutions.

For example, the Rwanda Biomedical Centre is leading a

new collaboration to establish information systems that can

work together to ensure cancer data connectivity in Kigali,

Rwanda. Other notable progress in C/Can city projects over

the last 18 months (7) include: completion and dissemination

of a quality control manual for pathology labs across Cali (8),

and development of a Quality Assurance Programme for

radiotherapy services in Kumasi, Ghana.

One of the enduring challenges is ensuring the sustainability

and scalability of projects. The pandemic has reinforced the

criticality of engaging local sustainability partners early in

the process. Part of this is providing tangible ways to foster

the continued exchange of best practices and peer-to-peer

discussion among cities, such as through C/Can's online

TeleECHOTM programme. As C/Can is demonstrating,

convening networks of cities, partners and people with a

shared commitment to cancer control can be a powerful driver

in accelerating local action for sustainable impact.

Discussion

There is a growing awareness worldwide of the rapidly enlarging

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