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ESMO and IARC Join Forces to Improve Cancer Prevention Worldwide

16 Nov 2020

LUGANO, Switzerland – ESMO has announced a collaboration with the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) to support them in the development of an online learning platform which integrates all research for cancer prevention in one easy-to-access point.

The World Cancer Report Updates learning platform will offer freely accessible learning material based on selected content from the World Cancer Report, the most important resource on cancer prevention published by the IARC every five years.

“ESMO and IARC share a similar goal to promote cancer research and prevention to reduce the global burden of cancer,” says ESMO President Prof Solange Peters. “With this collaboration we are committed to enlarge the base of doctors who are properly educated and trained in key prevention measures,” she says.

ESMO is the leading professional organisation for medical oncology in Europe, counting over 25,000 members in more than 160 countries worldwide, representing a valuable dissemination network for educating oncologists on cancer prevention.

“The World Cancer Report ’updates’ learning platform will bring different communities together around important themes of cancer prevention,” says IARC Director Dr Elisabete Weiderpass. “This will eventually contribute to turn the latest research produced by leading scientists into policy and practical measures to help stakeholders control cancer.”

Learning resources on the World Cancer Report Updates platform will consist of webinars as well as interactive, engaging e-learning modules, serving as a living extension of the WCR, using it both as a source and an inspiration.

The first webinar, scheduled on 19 November 2020, will be about HPV vaccination, in line with the official launch of the WHO Global Strategy to accelerate the elimination of cervical cancer (17 November) under the motto ‘For the first time ever, the world has committed to eliminate a cancer’.

“This is a historic milestone and it gives me pride to see that the WHO technical document for this strategy refers, among others, to the ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines for cervical cancer management, confirming the relevance of the inclusion of oncologists in cancer prevention efforts,” Peters says.

While the world is still under siege by the Covid-19 pandemic, with cancer screening activities suffering an almost complete shutdown in many countries, “it is even more important to reiterate the importance of early diagnosis, or secondary prevention,” stresses the ESMO President. “Early diagnosis is still the best alternative for the many cancers that cannot yet be prevented and those that occur despite prevention. In most low- and middle-income countries, cancer is diagnosed at an advanced stage, when treatment is generally less effective, more expensive and more disabling: we must act quickly,” Peters says.

With this joint project with IARC, ESMO is calling each and every member to take advantage of this resource, to ensure that oncologists become knowledgeable in prevention, ready to commit to provide guidance and act as role models.


The learning platform is open to all and available for free. It is designed for health professionals, researchers, students, policymakers and anyone interested in cancer prevention. ESMO members will soon find a dedicated page on the ESMO website to facilitate access to the platform and will be reminded of newly uploaded resources through the Society Newsletter and via the Society’s social media channels

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