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Danielle Blake
February 2, 2017

AdvaMed Joins Global Initiative to Address Growing Burden of Cancer Worldwide

Industry Leaders Team Up to Increase Access to Radiotherapy Services

WASHINGTON, D.C. – AdvaMed today announced a partnership with the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), supporting their C/Can 2025: City Cancer Challenge, a new initiative designed to reduce the number of premature deaths and economic burden resulting from cancer. Through this first-of-its kind worldwide program, AdvaMed – representing member companies Accuray, Elekta and Varian Medical Systems – will help to ensure that people with cancer around the world have access to radiotherapy – a life-saving and cost-effective cancer treatment option.

C/Can 2025 aims to promote and provide access to quality cancer treatment and care services in cities around the world with a population greater than 1 million. The first three ‘key learning cities’ that have committed to the Challenge are: Asunción, Paraguay; Cali, Colombia; and Yangon, Myanmar. As a founding partner, AdvaMed will join city leaders, governments, NGOs, UN agencies, and domestic and international businesses to help increase access to a myriad of cancer treatment options, including radiotherapy.

“We are pleased to serve as a founding member of this important initiative on behalf of the radiotherapy industry,” said Scott Whitaker, president and CEO of AdvaMed. “Radiotherapy is a critical component of cancer treatment and care. However, despite its proven value, only 40-60 percent of the worldwide population currently has access to it. Supporting the City Cancer Challenge is a unique opportunity to help cities around the world close a terrible divide that is preventing people with cancer from having access to this life-saving and cost-effective intervention.”


This year, more than 12 million people worldwide will be diagnosed with cancer and 8 million will die globally - more than HIV, malaria and tuberculosis combined. What’s more, cancer is estimated to cost the world economy as much as $1.16 trillion annually, a figure that is expected to grow exponentially if immediate action is not taken to reduce growth in the number of cases and the impact on both individuals and health care budgets.

The rising incidence of cancer worldwide will continue to increase the number of patients that need treatment with radiotherapy. By 2035, 12 million patients around the globe will need radiotherapy, but many of them won’t have access to treatment. Providing radiotherapy treatment to an increasing number of patients worldwide will provide tangible clinical and economic benefits. A recent report published by The Lancet Oncology Commission found:

  • Full access to radiotherapy for all patients in low- and middle-income countries can be achieved with an upfront investment of $97 billion — resulting in estimated cost savings and economic benefits of $278 billion to $365 billion over the next 20 years, and saving 27 million life years.
  • By 2035, if all patients needing radiotherapy had access, cancer in 2.5 million people would be prevented from progressing and 950,000 people would have an overall survival benefit.

Whitaker adds, “The greatest financial and human impact of cancer is felt within low- and middle-income countries, those least equipped to respond to this growing burden, but also where rapid urbanization is bringing significant public health and sustainable development challenges.”

“This is the first time an international coalition of multisectoral organizations has been established to work with cities on improving cancer treatment and care, and we are delighted the radiotherapy industry has joined the effort as radiotherapy is a critical component of cancer control,” said Cary Adams, CEO of UICC. “It is important for all sectors to support city governments to respond to the rising epidemic of cancer and show the world that, together, we can tackle this disease and save lives.”

C/Can 2025 anticipates upwards of 80 cities being committed to the Challenge by the end of 2019. Founding partners of C/Can 2025 include: AdvaMed, Access Accelerated Initiative (a coalition of 22 pharmaceutical companies), American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), Icon Group, National Cancer Institute (NCI), US and University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre (UPMC).