The World Cancer Leaders Summit and the UICC 2017 Young Leaders Cohort

Fabio Y Moraes, MD, PhD
2016 UICC Young leader
Brazilian Radiation Oncologist Fellow
Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
University of Toronto

In late November, Mexico City hosted the World Cancer Leaders Summit (WCLS), gathering together 350 global leaders from 60 countries. The event featured participation of key decision makers in the cancer control community including The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) directors and members, society and industry leaders, as well as several head of states.

The WCLS is a major annual high-level policy meeting dedicated to furthering global cancer control. The event encourages sensible debate on emerging issues related to cancer and its consequences and impact. It provides an important forum to secure a coordinated, multilevel global response to address the ascending cancer wave. Since this year the Summit theme was ‘Cities driving change’, the event highlighted discussion on the power and impact of cities to improve the health of society.

During the 2017 event, participants discussed ways to transition from global commitments to fully operational, comprehensive cancer solutions that reach the world’s population (Action instead of Reaction). Solutions included accelerating impact on cancer control and fostering progress to beat the global target of a 25% reduction in premature mortality from cancer and other non-communicable diseases (NCD’s) by 2025.

The event opening ceremony included an engaging and inspiring keynote address from the President of Uruguay and Ambassador of C/Can 2025: City Cancer Challenge (C/Can 2025), President Tabareé Vázquez. President Vázquez highlighted how cancer is impacting the most vulnerable populations across the world and emphasized the power of cities to positively impact on mortality reduction by improving access to information (including tobacco control actions), early diagnosis, clinical research, optimum treatment (including universal access to radiotherapy) and palliative care. Following the opening ceremony, the full day summit included panel discussions on the global challenges we face in addressing cancer and other NCDs, the power of the cities to improve the health of society and the challenges of prioritizing cancer treatment and care on national health agendas (a full meeting report can be access at

Accompanying the Summit programme, additional meetings were organized from 13-15 November by the Summit hosts, partners and supporters. The aim of these sessions were to explore the future of cancer control and engage on actions to achieve our shared goal of reducing premature mortality from cancer and NCD’s, and to empower the current and young leaders (YL) on the cancer control arena.

Worldwide, YL are increasingly taking responsibility for molding the future the development of cancer control actions. One of the mains goals of UICC is to improve cancer control and care worldwide by empowering YLs and local initiatives. Since 2013, 7-10 YL are annually selected by a UICC committee to participate on the UICC YL program (more info: The YL program provides an invaluable opportunity for learning and networking as well as promoting recognition and visibility.

At the 2017 WCLS an amazingly inspiring and engaged 2017 cohort of YLs  (see photo below) was announced and congratulated. With a diversity of backgrounds, these notable YL are already experts in many fields within cancer control. The 2017 YLs were fully supported by UICC members, previous YLs (Fabio Moraes, ‘Lola’ James [who provides a separate blog on the GlobalRT website detailing her experience at the WCLS], Mei Ling Yap [virtual support] and RuncieChidebe) and WCLS attendees. In addition, YLs were warmly welcomed by an exclusive YLs session, organized by the UICC and Roche. The YL session emphasized the YL program history, objectives, plans and goals and focused on participation of the new YLs and many highly distinguished UICC members.

From left to right: Fabio Moraes (Previous YL), Youssef Zeidan, Roberta Marques, Dauren Adilbay, UICC President Prof. Sanchia Aranda, Supriya Sastri (green dress), Runcie Chidebe (Back – Previous YL), Paul Ebusu, Kelechi Eguzo, ‘Lola’James (Previous YL)

From left to right: Fabio Moraes (Previous YL), Youssef Zeidan, Roberta Marques, Dauren Adilbay, UICC President Prof. Sanchia Aranda, Supriya Sastri (green dress), Runcie Chidebe (Back – Previous YL), Paul Ebusu, Kelechi Eguzo, ‘Lola’James (Previous YL)

2017 UICC Young Leaders Cohort

François Uwinkindi, MD MPH: Director of Cancer Diseases Unit, Rwanda Biomedical Center, Kigali, Rwanda

Kelechi Eguzo, MBBCh MPH PhD (c): Doctoral Candidate, University of Saskatchewan, Canada

Dauren Adilbay, MD PhD: Deputy Director, Kazakh Institute of Oncology and Radiology, Almaty, Kazakhstan

Paul Ebusu, MPH: Executive Director, Uganda Cancer Society, Kampala, Uganda

Roberta Marques, MSc: CEO, Instituto Desiderata, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Youssef Zeidan, MD PhD: Assistant Professor, Naef K. Basile Cancer Institute, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon

Supriya Jayant Sastri, MD: Associate Professor, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, India