New policies to address the global burden of childhood cancers
The Lancet Oncology
Childhood cancer is a major global health issue. Every year, almost 100 000 children die from cancer before the age of 15 years, more than 90% of them in resource-limited countries. Here, we review the key policy issues for the delivery of better care, research, and education of professionals and patients. We present a key list of time-limited proposals focusing on change to health systems and research and development. These include sector and system reforms to make care affordable to all, policies to promote growth of civil society around both cancer and Millennium Development Goals, major improvements to public health services (particularly the introduction of national cancer plans), improved career development, and increased remuneration of specialist health-care workers and government support for childhood cancer registries. Research and development proposals focus on sustainable funding, the establishment of more research networks, and clinical research specifically targeted at the needs of low-income and middle-income countries. Finally, we present proposals to address the need for clinical trial innovation, the complex dichotomy of regulations, and the threats to the availability of data for childhood cancers.