The World Cancer Research Day, an initiative promoted by AECC (the Spanish Association for Cancer Research) with the participation and collaboration of several other international cancer research agencies, such as AIRC (the Italian Association for Cancer Research), is celebrated on Monday 24 September.

The World Cancer Research Day aims to raise public awareness of the importance of cancer research, which is essential for making valuable progress in the fight against cancer. Researchers are working on many fronts with the aim and hope of finding a definitive cure or making the disease a chronic, and therefore controllable, disease, thus increasing survival rates.

In Italy, the campaign is supported by AIRC and sees the participation of several researchers, who have joined the “Declaration for Cancer Research”. The face of Humanitas is Dr. Egesta Lopci, a specialist in Nuclear Medicine.


Why is Research so important?

As Dr. Lopci explains: “Scientific research is the lifeblood of the fight against cancer. It allows us to tap into new ways of diagnosing, approaching and treating malignant tumors, which are heterogeneous entities and too often resistant to conventional therapies, without interruption. It is thanks to the constant struggle of researchers around the world, from which originates the campaign #worldcancerresearchday, to support always finding new “weak points” in the tumor and always new weapons to fight it. A “virtuous” circuit that can only be established thanks to scientific research”.


On which fronts is there particular work being done?

The main current challenges are planning strategies for prevention and early diagnosis; improving diagnosis; developing therapies and treatments that can increase survival and reduce disease costs; achieving sustainable funding; and training researchers.


Cancer numbers

It is estimated that by 2030 cancer will be the leading cause of death worldwide. According to data from the Global Cancer Observatory (Globocan), 14 million new cases were diagnosed in 2012 and 8.2 million cancer-related deaths worldwide.

“Figures that underline once again how important research is and how fundamental are the initiatives such as the World Cancer Research Day, in order to increase awareness and commitment,” concluded Dr. Lopci.