​Toronto hosts international global conference to fight cancer

An all-star lineup of international leaders in cancer care and global health will be taking the stage this week at a Toronto conference to address everything from accelerating progress in clinical delivery to narrowing the “cancer divide.”

The Toronto Global Cancer Control Conference, taking place today through Saturday, welcomes 300 delegates from more than 30 countries with the goal of joining the global fight against cancer. 

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Co-hosted by Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and the University of Toronto Dalla Lana School of Public Health, the conference will feature the likes of Sir George Alleyne, Director Emeritus of the Pan-American Health Organization and the former United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy for HIV/Aids in the Caribbean region, to Prof. Julio Frenk, a Mexican physician, scholar and leader in global public health who is President of the University of Miami and former Dean of the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. 

"Knowledge is produced globally, not just locally," Dr. Mary Gospodarowicz, Medical Director at the Princess Margaret and a conference co-chair, told UHN News.

"Bringing together major players in global cancer care and learning about what they are doing and what they are discussing offers us access to more possible solutions for our challenges," Dr. Gospodarowicz says. "It's too narrow to say we can fix everything here ourselves, because if so, we would have by now."

Dr. Prabhat Jha, an Endowed Professor in Global Health and Epidemiology at the U of T and Canada Research Chair at the Dalla Lana School, also co-chairs the conference and says one of the key themes will be recognizing there’s a “big global problem” in the rising death tolls from cancer. 

"There is concern about a widening cancer divide because new therapies will not necessarily be accessible, even in places like Canada," he says. "That situation is amplified in developing countries,” he said.

Other topics will include accelerating progress in cancer control and clinical delivery, research and innovation, healthcare economics and narrowing the gap in diagnosis, treatment and survival rates between cancer patients in high-income, and low and middle-income countries (LMICs).

Read the full story at UHN News.