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World Oncology Forum

The World Oncology Forum (WOF) is a series of policy forums, organised by ESO in collaboration with The Lancet, where internationally renowned cancer clinicians, researchers, advocates, policy makers and representatives from industry discuss and define what needs to be done to end avoidable suffering and death from cancer.

The next edition will be held in Ascona (Monte Verità), Switzerland on 28-30 September 2023.

WOF Appeal

Media Partners

WOF is organised in conjunction with Cancer World, which explores the world of European cancer care from the perspective of the clinician, the researcher, the administrator and the patient. The magazine gives a voice to health professionals in all fields and at all levels. It offers a special platform to those who are most affected by cancer - the people with the disease.
The Lancet is the exclusive scientific media partner of WOF. This is a valuable partnership as The Lancet is by far the most authoritative scientific journal in its field.
In 2012 The Lancet published editorials and commentaries about WOF on various occasions. In its 9 February 2013 issue it published the Stop Cancer Now! appeal, with an accompanying comment by Franco Cavalli: An appeal to world leaders: stop cancer now!
It also published three WOF keynote lectures as complete papers. Global cancer patterns: causes and prevention by Paolo Vineis, Christopher Wild, Rethinking the war on cancer by Douglas Hanahan and Cancer survival: global surveillance will stimulate health policy and improve equity by Michel P. Coleman, all publicly accessible.


Past editions

The World Oncology Forum Taskforce met in Inveruno, Milan, on November 1-2, 2018 to address the questions discussed at the previous meetings. Three reasons to be hopeful were identified: efforts to address non-communicable diseases are being taken increasingly seriously by governments and policy makers; the concept of universal health coverage is gaining traction; and global health discussions have moved on from focusing on prevention and treating simple conditions, to include the need to invest in diagnostic infrastructures to promote early and accurate diagnosis.


Cancer and Global Health
WOF 4, focused on Research and Policy, was held in Lugano, Switzerland in 2017.

Videos from this edition can be found here.

Prevent the Preventable
The third World Oncology Forum focused on policies for prevention, and was held in Milan, Italy in 2015.


Treat the treatable
The second World Oncology Forum was held in Lugano in October 2014. It issued two appeals, which called on governments, policy makers and international agencies to work together to carry out a detailed package of actions to expand global access to early detection treatment and care and address problems in the ecosystem for discovering, developing and evaluating new therapies that are hindering faster progress towards cures for cancer.
These appeals were promoted at the World Economic Forum in Davos, 21-24 January 2015, where responding to the rising tide of cancer was on the agenda for the first time.
A video from this edition can be found here.


Are we winning the war on cancer?
The launch event was held in Lugano, Switzerland in October 2012.

It resulted in the Stop Cancer Now! appeal  - a 10 point action plan for governments to deliver on commitments they made at the World Health Assembly in May 2012 to cut preventable deaths from non-communicable diseases by 25% by 2025.

The Stop Cancer Now! appeal covered the policy headings: Prevent preventable cancers, Treat treatable cancers, Support all those living with cancer, Accelerate finding cures for cancers that are not yet curable, and Strengthen policy frameworks and health systems. It was published on World Cancer Day, February 4th 2013, in The Lancet and in leading newspapers across the world.