Roche at the World Cancer Congress 2016: More than just treatment


As delegates arrive in Paris this week to meet for the 2016 World Cancer Congress, there is time to reflect on the tremendous progress that has been made in the fight against the disease over the past few decades. Not only are treatments becoming ever more targeted and personalised, but the way in which cancer can be detected, diagnosed and monitored has been revolutionised.

Mobilising stakeholders to build on this progress and inspire real change is the theme of this year’s congress, and is something to which we at Roche believe we can make a meaningful contribution. Beyond our commitment to ongoing innovation in cancer treatment, we know that defeating this disease around the world involves more than just developing new health technologies. It will also require us to address the significant emotional, physical and financial burden that impacts the wellbeing of not just patients, carers and families, but also wider society. These include issues such as anxiety, depression, fatigue and loss of working days for both patients and carers.

This is because people living with cancer face a far broader set of challenges than those affecting their physical health. The strain of the disease often has consequential effects on mental health, personal relationships and working life, and with a 70% rise in the number of global cancer cases predicted by 2030 this burden is only set to increase.1

We believe that broad investment in cancer care delivers more value than simply bettering treatments for patients. The effects of cancer are felt by more than just the individual, so it is therefore vital that policy makers and cancer experts adequately recognise wider societal and economic value when considering access to new health technologies.

To contribute to this discussion, we will be hosting an interactive satellite symposium entitled Cancernomics of Care: Redefining Value in Cancer Management at this year’s congress. Led by global experts from a range of groups, the concept of “cancernomics” aims to acknowledge the societal and economic impact of cancer while encouraging stakeholders within the cancer community to consider how they should define the value of new innovations.

With a multidisciplinary panel including speakers from developed and emerging countries, we hope with this symposium to build on our ongoing work to ensure that patients across the world have access to effective and affordable healthcare. This includes pioneering innovative pricing models to give payers and healthcare authorities more flexibility when making difficult reimbursement decisions, as well as partnering with national governments to facilitate broader access to medicines in particularly resource-limited settings.

With increasingly innovative health technologies being developed to tackle previously untreatable diseases, it is essential that the assessment of these medicines by national health systems evolves in order to accelerate patients’ access to the medicines that they need.

You can learn more about Roche’s session at World Cancer Congress 2016, as well as the full list of speakers, here:


1 World Health Organization. Cancer Fact sheet N°297. Available at: Last accessed October 2016.

Tags: Society