New recommendations aimed at advancing the status of global oncology as an academic discipline were published in November as a special article in JCO Global Oncology.1
The field of global oncology is important. According to the World Health Organization,2 cancer is the second-leading cause of death worldwide, responsible for an estimated 9.6 million deaths in 2018. The number of cancer cases increases each year, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.
To address this need for global oncologists, the ASCO Academic Global Oncology Task Force created the recommendations, which they arrived at after first developing a definition of global oncology; reviewing Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education rules and regulations to assess how they could support oncology fellows with an interest in a global oncology; assessing existing curriculums and courses in this subject area; and distributing and reviewing a National Cancer Institute (NCI)/ASCO Survey on Global Oncology Research and Training Programs in NCI-Designated Cancer Centers.
The task force then grouped the recommendations into four categories: global oncology training, global oncology research and practice, global oncology career paths and professional development, and overall global oncology.
The authors note that success in developing this global oncology field will necessitate collaboration among all members of the global health and oncology communities, as well as:
Although the field of global oncology is young and not heavily resourced, there is an increasing number of early-career oncology professionals interested in pursuing experiences and training in this area.
To get involved, contact ASCO’s International Affairs team at InternationalAffairsDepartment@asco.org.
© 2020. American Society of Clinical Oncology. All rights reserved.
1. Gralow JR, Asirwa FC, Bhatt AS, et al: Recommendations from the ASCO Academic Global Oncology Task Force. J Glob Oncol 6:1666-1673, 2020.
2. World Health Organization: Cancer. Available at https://www.who.int/health-topics/cancer#tab=tab_1. Accessed December 9, 2020.