IBM has made an alliance with the American Cancer Society (ACS), National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) and Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) to control cancer spread and facilitate cancer treatment in Sub-Saharan Africa today. This alliance is called “Allied Against Cancer” and it would support the whole network of African oncology experts and technical assistance partners for improving the cancer treatment facilities locally.
Each year, there are more than 800,000 new cases of cancer in Sub-Saharan African areas. It is estimated that this number would double by the end of 2040. On the other side, the latest development in cancer treatment, control, and care in developed countries is growing. That is why leading cancer care organizations have joined hands to provide accessible and handy cancer treatment for patients in underprivileged areas.
In 2016, the American Cancer Society (ACS) joined hands with Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) to cut down the price of 16 most common chemotherapy drugs so that they are available in countries of Sub-Saharan Africa.
The top American oncologists supported this collaboration by representing 110 African oncologists from 34 hospitals and 13 countries all located in Sub-Saharan Africa. This collaboration revised the cancer-treatment guidelines and care strategy to be followed in local African hospitals.
This coalition is working with experts from NCCN and they have adapted the 46 NCCN Guidelines® and NCCN Framework for Resource Stratification of NCCN Guidelines (NCCN Framework™) to design the “NCCN Harmonized Guidelines™” for Sub-Saharan Africa areas.
They have also introduced an online tool |Cancer Guidelines Navigator” to enable access for African oncology professionals to National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Harmonized Guidelines™ without any charges. So, now an oncologist from Sub Saharan African country can add his patient’s clinical description in this online tool and it would suggest the relevant treatment options by searching from the NCCN Harmonized Guidelines™. Right now, this tool can provide treatment options for cervical cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, and Kaposi sarcoma from NCCN Harmonized Guidelines™.
IMB has also worked on developing the ACS ChemoSafe Facility Assessment Tool which is now an easy to use mobile application form. It helps to improve patient care and treatment quality for chemotherapy patients without any fees. It is available on iOS or Android both for free. The healthcare workers and experts can download it on their mobile phones or tablets and review the safety of drugs used in cancer treatment.
Gary Reedy, the Chief Executive Officer at the American Cancer Society finds “Allied Against Cancer” to be helpful for bringing world-class experts to tackle the growing cases of cancer in Africa. He shared that the “American Cancer Society is proud to be a founding member of the alliance.”
The alliance would address the rising burden of cancer cases in the African region and provide local African oncologists with quick and easy access for all possible treatment options that are affordable and helpful for cancer. This way, the alliance is a real-time opportunity that strengthens the ties of the global oncology community so that it can deliver the best treatment outcomes for all cancer patients.