World Oncology Forum, Lugano, Switzerland

INCTR was present at the second World Oncology Forum which, like the first, was held in Lugano, Switzerland on 24th and 25th October. The meeting addressed several critical issues that will affect the future of cancer treatment across the world - at a time when cancer is becoming increasingly important as a cause of premature mortality. The topics discussed included the translation of basic cancer research into new, effective treatments for cancer (and the related issues of the cost of developing such agents and their cost-effectiveness), the new role of immunotherapy in cancer treatment, the provision of cancer drugs to Eastern Europe and the Global Taskforce on radiotherapy for cancer control. There was considerable discussion about the very high cost of developing new anti-cancer agents and the fact that this often has little relationship to the effectiveness of the agent, although it was recognized that some agents that are of limited efficacy in late stage patients with metastatic cancer, they may prove to be more effective in earlier stage patients or in combination with other agents. Cancer in developing countries was discussed, and the enormous differences in resources between the low income countries and the high income countries was emphasized. WOF does not intend to simply discuss these issues, but to explore measures that can be taken that will ensue that patients with cancer will have access to the treatment they need, and that research is made more patient-centric rather than profit-driven. For more information see []

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