World Cancer Leaders' Summit


What is the World Cancer Leaders' Summit?

The World Cancer Leaders’ Summit is the preeminent annual policy meeting dedicated to furthering global cancer control at the highest levels. The event brings together key decision-makers from around the world and encourages timely debate on emerging issues related to cancer. It provides an important forum to secure a coordinated, multileveled global response to address the spiralling cancer epidemic.

The WCLS is traditionally organised in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and is hosted by a UICC member from the region where it is being held.

The event is by invitation only, and its attendance is mainly open to UICC members and partners among the global health and cancer leadership community.

Why the World Cancer Leaders' Summit is important

The World Cancer Leaders’ Summit offers global decision-makers are offered a privileged platform to interact, share experience and expertise, and shape how governments, NGOs, civil society, academia and other stakeholders can work to gather and shape the task of eliminating cancer as a life-threatening disease for future generations.

The Summit complements other signature events organised by UICC, which are World Cancer Day and the World Cancer Congress. The Summit plays a pivotal role in this portfolio of global events by ensuring that the nine targets detailed in the World Cancer Declaration to be achieved by 2025 are appropriately recognised and addressed at the highest political levels.


Key objectives of the World Cancer Leaders’ Summit include:

  • Raising awareness among leading decision-makers to ensure cancer is a global health priority.
  • Providing a forum to exchange information and innovative ideas on how to reverse the cancer epidemic and ensure a sustainable response. 
  • Defining compelling messages to support the global call to action against cancer.
  • Creating a force which galvanises politicians and policymakers and increases cancer’s visibility on the international public health agenda.

2021 World Cancer Leaders' Summit - Boston, USA, and virtually around the world

The 2021 WCLS took place on 25th-26th October, through a virtual platform that allowed participants from around the world to access and be part of the event.

The overarching theme for the 2021 WCLS was “Driving innovation to advance cancer control equitably”. The presentations, discussions, workshops and other events at the Summit addressed how to make innovation work in pushing for greater equity in access to cancer care and ensuring better care for all. Access the full report

2020 World Cancer Leaders' Summit has been cancelled

The 2020 Summit was due to take place last October in conjunction with the 2020 World Cancer Congress in Muscat, Oman. However, due to the global coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 World Cancer Congress and World Cancer Leaders’ Summit were both called off.

For more information:

Please read the letter from UICC President, HRH Princess Dina Mired and UICC CEO, Dr Cary Adams here

The last World Cancer Leaders’ Summit  - Cancer and Universal Health Coverage took place from 15-17 October 2019 in Nur-Sultan (Astana), Kazakhstan. 

Last update: 
Wednesday 17 November 2021
Latest World Cancer Leaders' Summit news
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World Cancer Leaders’ Summit in Long Beach, CA – 16-17 October 2023

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UICC CEO Dr Cary Adams and WCLS 2021 moderator Hannah Vaughan Jones, Emmy-nominated journalist, on the broadcast platform for the 2021 virtual World Cancer Leaders' Summit
27 October 2021

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UICC's first-ever World Cancer Leaders' Summit in virtual format took place over two days filled with inspiring presentations and expert discussions on equity and innovation in cancer care in the wake of a pandemic.

Seated crowd at an award ceremony
26 October 2021

UICC celebrates outstanding work in advancing cancer control and care

Today at the 2021 World Cancer Leaders’ Summit, UICC announced the winners of its Outstanding Contribution to Cancer Control Awards in two categories: Policy-makers and Civil Society.