Improving care for children with cancer worldwide will bring a triple return on investment and prevent millions of needless deaths, according to a new commission report published recently by The Lancet Oncology entitled Sustainable Care for Children with Cancer.
Without additional investment in childhood cancer care, new estimates produced for the report reveal that over 11 million children aged 14 years and younger are expected to die from cancer over the next 30 years worldwide. The vast majority of those—more than 9 million deaths (84%)—will be in low-income and lower-middle-income countries.
The landmark report synthesises existing evidence with new modelling and economic analyses to demonstrate that—with investment in expanding worldwide coverage of achievable cost-effective interventions and strengthening health systems—millions of children's lives could be saved, with huge economic benefits that far exceed the costs.
This report provides compelling evidence that improving outcomes for children with cancer is both feasible and a highly cost-effective investment for all countries rich and poor alike. Expanding access to achievable diagnostics, treatment, and supportive care, alongside strengthening health systems more widely, could prevent more than 6 million child deaths and bring almost US$2 trillion in economic benefits over the next 30 years. The time is right for a global push to expand coverage of care for children with cancer.