Personalised Cancer Care Alliance
The Personalised Cancer Care Alliance is an alliance of cancer patients, carers and representatives of patient organizations from the Middle East & North and Sub-Saharan Africa set up to advance health literacy in cancer, advocacy skills and education on personalised cancer care.
Not all patients are the same, not all cancers are the same, nor are all treatments the same
Over the last decade or so, with the advent of genetic engineering tools like CRISPR Cas 9 and the discovery of biomarkers, we have established that each cancer patient is different, and each type of cancer is also different, and there are even differences in the same cancer type across patients. More importantly, we know that each patient responds differently to the same treatment.
One size fits all cancer care is not serving the patient or society well. We now must look at alternatives. We can now offer services and treatments that are ‘genomically informed’ and individualised to the patient, based on the patient’s own genetics, their metabolic profile, environment, and habits.
Personalised medicine, referred to by different terminology like genomic medicine, precision medicine, stratified medicine and personalised healthcare, is one approach in oncology that can help us to structure a high-resolution personalised treatment plan for the patient based on his/her specific genomic aberrations in their tumour and personal circumstance-the social determinants of health.
Personalised cancer care looks at the full biomarker range through simple liquid biopsies and helps oncologists select the most clinically effective and beneficial therapy (based on patient preference and patient reported outcome measure) for that individual patient.
The health technology and the pharmacodynamics approaches in oncology can further personalise cancer care by ensuring that we can determine how the patient is responding to their treatment at the earliest. If we need to change treatment, we can do so at the earliest.
Personalised cancer care solves our need to deliver patient centred healthcare as we can stratify and profile patients very early on and know who will respond well and who will not respond to treatment. This can prevent unnecessary hit and miss treatments, prolonged treatments, exposer of patients to harsh side effects, and more importantly turn their lives upside down and force them to structure their lives around healthcare facilities.
Personalised cancer care, when paired with digital health and virtual clinics underpinned by artificial intelligence and machine learning, can be very liberating and restore autonomy, choice and good mental health and wellbeing.
Build a coalition: The Personalised Cancer Care Alliance (PCCA)
The Personalised Cancer Care Alliance will be an alliance comprising regional patient groups and patients affected by cancer. The alliance will also invite young patients and their carers to join us.
Advance Cancer Health Literacy in Personalised Cancer Care
We will co-produce webinars with the PCCA to cover:
- Working within alliances and multistakeholder communities to advance healthcare for all.
- The Cancer Burden in the Region and the National Cancer Control Plans.
- Innovation in Cancer Care. The health technology, bioinformatics, genomic medicine, biomarkers, immunotherapies, targeted therapies, CAR-T and other advances in early diagnosis, treatment, cure, and rehabilitation.
- Advocating for Access.
- How to co-produce an effective position paper for the region on personalised cancer care.
Develop a Position Paper and launch it at a WHO event
We will co-produce a position paper to cover all elements of personalised healthcare literacy, health technology, access, and other aspects like the likely economic, social and cultural impact of PCC in the region. The paper will be launched at a WHO event, with the main event being the WHO’s Regional Committee Meeting in 2022.
Advance and Support Regional and National PCCA work
The PCCA will be sustained through an annual programme that will continue to strengthen the alliance, help develop a community of practice, grow it from strength to strength and find placements for our expert patients at different levels of the regions health system decision making structures.
If you are a cancer patient, carer or representative of a patient organization from the Middle East & North and Sub-Saharan Africa, and would like to learn more about the Alliance, please contact Dani Mothci (Member Engagement Manager, IAPO) at firstname.lastname@example.org.