The Lancet, “Cancer research equity: innovations for the many, not the few”

A thought-provoking article on the current state of global cancer research was recently published by The Lancet on 3 February 2024. The piece delves into the remarkable advancements in cancer research, emphasizing the continuous development of therapeutic drugs and cutting-edge technologies such as CAR T-cell therapy. However, despite these achievements, the global cancer death toll has risen by 40% in just over a decade, with an alarming prediction of over 35 million new cancer cases in 2050.

The article, coinciding with World Cancer Day on Feb 4, underscores the theme of “Close the Gap,” drawing attention to persistent disparities in cancer care, particularly in low and medium Human Development Index countries. The author discusses the crucial need to recalibrate research priorities to maximize benefits for patients globally. While acknowledging the significance of cancer drug development, the article questions the dominance of pharmaceutical companies in shaping the research agenda. It highlights the necessity of focusing on accessible and affordable innovations, such as treatment de-escalation or repurposing licensed drugs, that could greatly benefit patients worldwide.

Link to the article in The Lancet: