Are We Winning the War on Cancer?

Are We Winning the War on Cancer? No!

Are We Winning the War on Cancer? No!

Are We Winning the War on Cancer? No!

Who said that?

On 26–27 October 2012 the World Oncology Forum (WOF) gathered in Lugano, Switzerland, with the task of evaluating progress to date in the war against cancer. The Forum was convened by the European School of Oncology, in partnership with The Lancet. It was attended by internationally renowned epidemiologists, clinicians, researchers, advocates, policy makers and representatives from industry. A group of journalists from leading newspapers and magazines were invited to play the role of ‘devil’s advocate’ by asking probing questions and subjecting the Forum’s deliberations to the scrutiny of outsiders.

WOF participants spent two days discussing the evidence presented by international experts on progress to date in cancer.

On the basis of this evidence, the participants concluded that current strategies for controlling cancer are clearly not working:

  • preventable cancers are not being prevented;
  • patients are suffering and dying unnecessarily from cancers that are detectable and treatable; and
  • the model for developing effective new curative therapies is not fit for purpose and needs a radical rethink.

In its final session, compèred by the Editor-in-Chief of The Lancet, Richard Horton, participants agreed on a set of actions that have been shown to work, are achievable everywhere in the world, and are essential if we are to stop the current escalation in the number of men, women and children suffering and dying unnecessarily of cancer.