The American Cancer Society’s Global Cancer Control team has long partnered with IBM, the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) to improve access to cancer treatment for patients in sub-Saharan Africa. This month, the groups announced a new alliance to formalize the organizations’ combined efforts: Allied Against Cancer.
The new alliance is dedicated to improving access to high-quality cancer care and treatment in sub-Saharan Africa. It will support a network of African oncology experts and technical assistance partners to improve the quality of cancer care, including collaborating closely with the African Cancer Coalition to establish priorities and execute these initiatives locally.
Allied Against Cancer will build on much of the work already in progress. These efforts include:
- Increasing availability and lowering prices for common chemotherapy drugs. ACS and CHAI teamed up in 2016 to bring lower prices for 16 common chemotherapy drugs to six countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Harmonized treatment guidelines. ACS, NCCN, and the African Cancer Coalition recently announced the creation of the NCCN Harmonized Guidelines™ for Sub-Saharan Africa specifically to be used by oncologists across Sub-Saharan Africa. These guidelines have been endorsed by leading cancer centers or health ministries in six countries to date and include treatment guidelines for 46 cancers.
- ChemoSafe. This tool promotes safe handling of chemotherapy drugs in cancer centers and supports quality improvement efforts.
"Allied Against Cancer brings together a group of top-notch experts to tackle the growing burden of cancer in Africa, and the American Cancer Society is proud to be a founding member of the alliance," said our CEO Gary Reedy.
There are more than 800,000 new cancer cases each year in Sub-Saharan Africa and incidence is projected to double by 2040. And as these countries address the growing cancer epidemic, data and emerging technologies can play a significant role in cancer treatment control and care. The need for more affordable cancer treatment and strong systems for their delivery are crucial to help improve patients' survival.