World Cancer Leaders' Summit

The World Cancer Leaders’ Summit (WCLS) is the preeminent annual policy meeting dedicated to furthering global cancer control at the highest levels. 

Participants speaking at the World Cancer Leaders' Summit 2019

The World Cancer Leaders’ Summit 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 spiraling 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 a privileged platform to interact, share experience and expertise, and shape how governments, NGOs, civil society, academia and other stakeholders can work together 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.
World Cancer Leaders' Summit 2023 Partners

Upcoming Summit: World Cancer Leaders' Summit 2023

The next Summit will be taking place on 16-17 October 2023 in Long Beach, CA, United States. The theme of the WCLS 2023 is "Cancer Control in a Changing World". The current international situation requires collective solutions for pressing global questions and challenges. As global cancer leaders, leading change is not just reacting to new realities, but problem-solving challenges and harnessing new opportunities.

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Previous Summit

World Cancer Leaders' Summit 2021

The WCLS 2021 took place on 25th-26th October, originally due to take place in Boston, USA, it was instead held through a virtual platform that allowed participants from around the world to access and be part of the event.

The overarching theme for the WCLS 2021 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.

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Past World Cancer Leaders' Summit reports

Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)
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Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)
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Latest Summit News

World Cancer Leaders’ Summit in Long Beach, CA – 16-17 October 2023

Aerial view of Long Beach, California, where UICC's 2023 World Cancer Leaders' Summit will take place.
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Summary of UICC’s 2021 World Cancer Leaders' Summit 2021

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
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UICC celebrates outstanding work in advancing cancer control and care

Seated crowd at an award ceremony
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View of Long Beach, California

16-17 October 2023, Long Beach, CA, United States

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Welcome poster

Access all past reports in PDF format

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Last update

Friday 22 September 2023

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