Collaborative project focuses on improving access to breast cancer care in Argentina

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®)-;a non-profit alliance of leading cancer centers across the United States-;is launching a collaborative project with the Latin American and Caribbean Society of Medical Oncology (SLACOM) in Buenos Aires, Argentina, today. The joint initiative brings together patients, healthcare providers, government officials, and other thought leaders to analyze any barriers that prevent the delivery of optimal breast cancer care throughout the region. The group will also develop recommendations to ensure cancer treatment can be provided according to the latest evidence-based expert consensus NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®).

In the Latin America and Caribbean region, an estimated 2.5 million cases of cancer are projected to be diagnosed annually by 2040 (an increase of 78% from 2018 incidence rates), leading to more than 1.3 million cancer deaths per year (an increase of 93% over 2018 mortality rates). The burden of cancer in low- and middle-resource countries is particularly significant, currently accounting for approximately 75% percent of all cancer deaths worldwide, and is expected to continue to grow.

Healthcare delivery systems in Latin America are grappling with how to deliver equitable access to cancer care while facing rising cancer incidence rates and corresponding health infrastructure challenges and treatment costs. We need to establish pragmatic approaches for providing high-quality cancer care right now, while also promoting sustainable, long-term improvements to our healthcare systems throughout Latin America. Our work with NCCN will help us tailor clinical practice guidelines for our region to increase access, reduce inequality, and protect financial stability."

Eduardo L. Cazap, MD, PhD, Founder and First President of SLACOM

"We are honored to work alongside SLACOM and others in the Latin America region to share our expertise in improving cancer care, and also learn from them," said Robert W. Carlson, MD, Chief Executive Officer, NCCN. "We look forward to jointly determining innovative ways to ensure more people with breast cancer are treated according to evidence-based expert consensus guidelines. Past successes have shown us that it is easier to predict and meet cancer care needs when we can provide care that is both standardized on an international scale and adjusted for regional or local variations."

Today's workshop in Buenos Aires includes a rigorous analysis of the current landscape, with a focus on any obstacles and system disruptions that prevent the most appropriate delivery of care according to the latest research-backed recommendations.

The next phase of the project will include a broader regional summit for Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Columbia, and Peru in 2023, to present the workshop findings and solicit additional feedback. The summit will also include presentations from patients and advocates sharing their perspective on challenges, barriers, and potential solutions for improving access to guideline-concordant breast cancer care.

NCCN is part of several collaborations to advance global cancer care. The organization publishes free resource-stratified versions of NCCN Guidelines®, regional guidelines adaptations, translations, framework, and harmonizations working with local providers across Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the Caribbean, and other countries in Asia, Europe, and South America. Learn more at NCCN.org/global and join the conversation with #NCCNGlobal.

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