Cancer is the second leading cause of mortality globally. Early detection of cancer and access to effective cancer treatment can result in higher rates of survival and a better quality of life. However, patients in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are often diagnosed at a late disease stage, which contributes to higher cancer mortality.
In vitro diagnostics (IVDs) are a subset of medical devices that examine specimens taken from the human body which provide essential data for screening, diagnosis and treatment. Access to IVDs is vital for the early detection of cancer, however in many LMICs access to quality assured medical diagnostics is not a given.
Major challenges to the availability of IVDs include patient access, regulations, quality, supply chain, physical and personnel infrastructure, and costs. However, solutions are available depending on local context, political will, and resource allocation.
In this context, UICC, in collaboration with the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) and the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), have launched a report on “The role of in vitro diagnostics in early detection and treatment of cancer”. The report highlights the role of in vitro diagnostics in early detection of disease, explores the barriers to accessing IVDs, particularly in LMICs, and outlines ways to address them.
This Special Focus Dialogue explored and discussed the above-mentioned report and particularly focused on:
In addition to discussing of the report, the dialogue also highlighted findings of the Lancet Commission on Diagnostics.
Moderated by: Shalini Jayasekar-Zürn, Senior Advocacy Manager, Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)
Beatrice Vetter, Scientific Officer, Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND)
Dan Milner, Chief Medical Officer, American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
Sue Horton, University Research Chair and Professor, Health Economics, University of Waterloo