Taking on cancer one city at a time

How the City Cancer Challenge is changing the global landscape

Currently over half of the world’s population lives in cities, with 95% of urban expansion in the next decades anticipated to take place in lower and middle-income countries.1

As people continue to flock to urban environments the world over, this brings an additional challenge of sustainable healthcare infrastructure and planning to national and local governments. Today, over 85% of premature deaths from non-communicable diseases, such as cancer, occur in lower and middle-income countries.2 Roche is taking a lead role in an exciting partnership to support cities across the globe to spearhead the design, planning and implementation of state-of-the-art solutions for cancer care.

City Cancer Challenge 2025

In 2017, the City Cancer Challenge was launched to support cities with populations greater than 1 million to speed up access to quality cancer services, as relevant for their local contexts. Established by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), the challenge is a concrete response to global political commitments. This includes the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal target for 2030 of reducing premature mortality from non-communicable diseases, such as cancer, by one third.3

Four key learning cities kicked-off the challenge in 2017. This was Asunción in Paraguay, Cali in Colombia, Kumasi in Ghana, and Yangon in Myanmar. Combined, these cities serve more than 25 million people, including referral catchment areas. Their participation is providing insight on how the international community, local civil society, and public and private sector can best work together to realise the shared ambitions of the city and C/Can 2025.

As part of our commitment to increasing access to sustainable cancer care, it was announced in October 2018 that we will act as the lead industry partner in working with 20 cities by 2020 to develop and pilot a model of engagement for City Cancer Challenge that can be scaled up globally.

Beyond funding, we will share our health system knowledge, global stakeholder network and business planning expertise.

A multi-stakeholder approach

What value have the learning cities derived from the initiative so far? What support do cities receive throughout the process? Why is a multisector response critical to the long-term sustainability of cancer care?

Listen to different perspectives in response to these questions...

Our perspective

City insights

The City Cancer Challenge mission

What's next?

Phase One is expected to complete in 2020 with 20 cities involved. Throughout this phase, City Cancer Challenge will take on between 4 and 6 successful cities following each call for application. This phase will serve in order to validate the initiative across diverse regions, income-settings and cancer-care contexts.

The vision for Phase Two is for the City Cancer Challenge to make use of the learnings from the cities and their partners to offer a suite of engagement options for cities from 2020 to set their own course for addressing cancer care.


CCC-call to action

If you want your city to join the City Cancer Challenge, visit UICC's website and check your eligibility in the checklist or access the application form:

Tags: Access to healthcare, Oncology, Patients, Society