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Global network of oncology societies to take aim at worldwide cancer care inequality

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | December 14, 2022
European News Rad Oncology
The IAEA is collaborating with 11 cancer care societies to make radiotherapy more accessible in developing countries.
The International Atomic Energy Agency has signed into effect its first-ever multilateral partnership for radiation oncology, medical physics and diagnostic imaging, collaborating with 11 professional societies from all six populated continents and the Middle East.

Known as The Practical Arrangements on Technical Professional Society Partnerships in Cancer Care, the collaboration aims to improve radiotherapy access in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) to reduce global inequities in cancer care.

Over 70% of cancer deaths occur in LMICs, which only receive 5% of this care spending. For example, more than 20 countries in Africa have no radiotherapy systems.

“These countries deserve our help and we are determined to try and provide that help. That requires partnerships. That is why we’re here today,” said IAEA director general Rafael Mariano Grossi at the signing.

Partners include:
African Organisation for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC)
American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM)
American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO)
Arab Medical Association Against Cancer (AMAAC)
Canadian Association of Radiation Oncology (CARO)
European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO)
Federation of Asian Organizations for Radiation Oncology (FARO)
Ibero Latin American Radiation Oncology Association (ALATRO)
International Cancer Expert Corps (ICEC)
Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR)
Royal College of Radiologists (RCR)

In a roundtable discussion, the associations discussed specific needs in countries, including LMICs, and how to best cooperate on worldwide activities and research to scale, innovate and sustain efforts that could elevate global cancer care.

They will work together on research, quality assurance, education and training, seminars and webinars, data collection and dissemination of relevant information through the IAEA Directory of Radiotherapy Centres (DIRAC), the most comprehensive resource of radiotherapy resources worldwide.

“The IAEA-led partnership will increase the global impetus in cancer care support to countries in LMICs, which is so badly needed,” said Rose Ihuoma Anorlu, president of AORTIC. “We look forward to improving access to cancer care in Africa through this global collaboration.”

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