Looking ahead to an event-filled 2022

Prof. Anil D'Cruz, President of the Union for International Cancer Control, speaking at a UICC World Cancer Leaders' Summit
5 January 2022

Prof. Anil D’Cruz, President of UICC, wishes the cancer community a productive 2022 and offers an overview of what they can look forward to in the new year.

As we start a new year, still under the shadow of COVID-19, I wish to recognise once again as well as express my gratitude for the resilience, courage and energy of one and all working in the cancer community. 

Doctors, nurses, cancer caregivers who support patients through their difficult journey ensuring that they receive the best possible care as well as patients themselves, continue to face incredible challenges compounded in these surreal times.

UICC has striven, since the beginning of the pandemic, to listen and respond to their needs, to make their voices heard at the highest level and ensure that cancer care is not forgotten as governments seek to strengthen their health systems. Together, we have achieved much to be proud of and I feel optimistic entering 2022.

As we start a new year, we will continue to capitalise on some of the silver linings we have seen emerge from this pandemic: the renewed focus on health, the exposure of inequities in health provision that we have long known about, the mass (though still unequal) deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine using mRNA technology that can influence future cancer vaccine programmes, promising innovations and some serendipitous findings to detect and treat cancers earlier, as well as greater international and cross-sectoral collaboration to respond to a global health crisis.

A core aspect of UICC’s mission has always been to convene the cancer community – and this year we will be starting with strength, with a new three-year campaign for World Cancer Day and an apt theme: “Close the Care Gap” in cancer care. On 4 February, we invite not only the global cancer community but individuals, organisations and governments everywhere to learn and raise awareness about the many barriers that prevent far too many people around the world from receiving even the basic cancer care they require and to which they are entitled as a fundamental right.

The World Cancer Congress planned on 17-20 October in Geneva, Switzerland is another event we look forward to – hopefully to meet again face-to-face! Our call for submissions has generated a record number of responses and we believe that everyone will be excited by the outstanding programme we are working on. 

In addition, we will conduct a strategic review of UICC to assess the direction our organisation should be taking in the coming decade. These reviews take place every four years and I am excited to be leading this important piece of work with my very able Board Members, who will no doubt apply the “out-of-the-box" thinking required to deliver some robust and exciting conclusions. Please contribute to our work when we reach out to you for ideas in the next couple of months. 

At UICC, we look forward to working ever more closely with all stakeholders this year towards the common goal of reducing the number of preventable deaths from cancer and ensuring that everyone receives the care they need and rightfully deserve.

With the warmest best wishes to all for a great 2022 in cancer control!

Prof. Anil D’Cruz
President, UICC

Last update: 
Wednesday 5 January 2022
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