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Priorities for cancer research in low- and middle-income countries: a global perspective

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C. S. Pramesh, Rajendra A. Badwe, Nirmala Bhoo-Pathy, Christopher M. Booth, Girish Chinnaswamy, Anna J. Dare, Victor Piana de Andrade, David J. Hunter, Satish Gopal, Mary Gospodarowicz, Sanjeeva Gunasekera, Andre Ilbawi, Sharon Kapambwe, Peter Kingham, Tezer Kutluk, Nirmal Lamichhane, Miriam Mutebi, Jackson Orem, Groesbeck Parham, Priya Ranganathan & 8 more Manju Sengar, Richard Sullivan, Soumya Swaminathan, Ian F. Tannock, Vivek Tomar, Verna Vanderpuye, Cherian Varghese, Elisabete Weiderpass

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)649-657
Number of pages9
JournalNature Medicine
Issue number4
PublishedApr 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: N.B.-P. has received research grants from Roche and Novartis, unrestricted educational grants from Pfizer, the Pharmaceutical Association of Malaysia and Novartis and speaker fees from Roche, Novartis and Pfizer; has served on the scientific advisory board for Pfizer; and obtained travel grants from Roche and the Pharmaceutical Association of Malaysia to attend scientific conferences. P.K. had one hour of paid teaching at the Olympus Surgical symposium in March 2020. None of the other authors have any conflicts of interest. Disclaimer: when authors are identified as personnel of the IARC and/or the WHO, the authors alone are responsible for the views expressed in this article and they do not necessarily represent the decisions, policy or views of the IARC or the WHO. S. Gopal is employed at the National Institutes of Health, and opinions expressed in this article are his own and do not reflect the views of the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Health and Human Services or the US government. Publisher Copyright: © 2022, Springer Nature America, Inc.

King's Authors


Cancer research currently is heavily skewed toward high-income countries (HICs), with little research conducted in, and relevant to, the problems of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). This regional discordance in cancer knowledge generation and application needs to be rebalanced. Several gaps in the research enterprise of LMICs need to be addressed to promote regionally relevant research, and radical rethinking is needed to address the burning issues in cancer care in these regions. We identified five top priorities in cancer research in LMICs based on current and projected needs: reducing the burden of patients with advanced disease; improving access and affordability, and outcomes of cancer treatment; value-based care and health economics; quality improvement and implementation research; and leveraging technology to improve cancer control. LMICs have an excellent opportunity to address important questions in cancer research that could impact cancer control globally. Success will require collaboration and commitment from governments, policy makers, funding agencies, health care organizations and leaders, researchers and the public.

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