The Catalan Institute of Oncology and Hospital del Mar partner with the City Cancer Challenge Foundation to improve the quality of cancer care around the world

  • The agreement lays out areas of work between the Catalan Institute of Oncology, Hospital del Mar, and the public and private institutions from the City Cancer Challenge cities.
  • Activities will kick off with a series of scientific visits by multidisciplinary groups of specialists from Cali and Asunción who provide care for patients with invasive cervical and breast cancer in both cities.

The Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO), Barcelona’s Hospital del Mar (PSMAR) and the City Cancer Challenge Foundation (C/Can) have signed a collaboration agreement to improve access to quality cancer care in the group of cities that form the C/Can network.

“Our alliance with C/Can reflects Hospital del Mar’s commitment to ensuring that everybody in middle and low-income countries affected by cancer has access to the care they need,” explains Dr. Joan Albanell, head of the Oncology Service Doctor of the Hospital del Mar.

Candela Calle, Director General of the ICO, adds: “This alliance is a great opportunity for us to give greater scope and impact to the work we have been doing with the World Health Organization and the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) in educating people about cervical cancer, and also allows us to expand our knowledge to other countries and impact the lives of many cancer patients.”

The agreement outlines the main strategies and areas of collaboration between both institutions, including the training of specialists in all areas of cancer care, such as surgery, radiotherapy, pathology and nursing, as well as a follow-up visit to the cities for evaluation and monitoring of training.

“There is no one-size-fits-all solution for dealing with the burden of cancer, as each city faces its own social, political, economic and development challenges. But the quality standards of cancer care should be the same for all patients in any city in the world. It is an honor for the City Cancer Challenge Foundation to be able to rely on the support of these two institutions, which set global standards, to support our cities in improving their capacity to offer quality cancer services and equitable access,” says Isabel Mestres, Director of Partnerships at C/Can.

Cali (Colombia) and Asunción (Paraguay) will be the first cities to receive support from the two Spanish institutions. As part of the C/Can work methodology impact, a needs assessment process involving more than 200 medical specialists and 15 health institutions from the public and private sectors of both cities identified the lack of a multidisciplinary approach in cancer care and the need for clinical management guides adapted to the resources available in each city as the main challenges. As part of the initiative, medical teams and specialists from both cities are in Barcelona this week to receive technical support and training adapted to their local needs. The visit is part of a global project called “Increased access to quality cancer care”. Both teams have been working with the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the Society of Oncology Nursing (ONS). In the coming months, they will take part in other activities with specialists from the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).

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