• English
  • العربية
  • 中文
  • Français
  • Русский
  • Español

You are here

Global Spotlight on Cancer in London


At London Global Cancer Week the IAEA will highlight the important contributions it makes to the fight against cancer around the world. (Photo: Benjamin Davies)

In the UK, it’s estimated that one in two people will develop cancer at some point in their lives — a shocking statistic that sadly isn’t unique to the country. The rise of cancer incidence is a global phenomenon, driven by increasing lifespans and lifestyle changes, and the IAEA is helping countries use nuclear techniques to better understand and fight cancer, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, where otherwise curable cancers are often deadly.

On 15 November, the IAEA will host a special event at London Global Cancer Week, Nuclear Applications in Human Health for Effective Global Cancer Control – The Role of the IAEA, exploring the support the IAEA offers countries around the world in addressing cancer.

“Nuclear applications and techniques are used in the staging and treatment of cancer,” said May Abdel-Wahab, Director of the IAEA’s Division of Human Health. “By enhancing their capabilities, the IAEA is helping countries better diagnose, stage and treat cancer and other diseases through the application of nuclear techniques in imaging and nuclear medicine, radiation therapy, nutrition, as well as dosimetry services for quality assurance.”

The one-hour event will cover the range of technical support provided by the IAEA in fighting cancer, including advising countries in the use of nuclear techniques in cancer control and dosimetry services. It will also present the role of nuclear nutrition techniques in supporting cancer prevention and care, and the IAEA’s global initiatives in imaging and nuclear medicine. Speakers will share how the IAEA is scaling-up radiotherapy for better cancer control and conducting cancer research — including international multi-centre clinical trials and implementation research.

Research results then support technical cooperation through various projects and within countries to develop in-country implementation activities and programmes.

According to the World Health Organization, cancer is the second leading cause of death globally, and in 2018 accounted for one in six deaths. The IAEA is helping tackle this worldwide burden through activities and close contact with health professionals on the ground, offering them education and training, and inviting them be part of coordinated cancer research projects.

The IAEA also develops cancer therapy and prevention guidelines and recommendations, offers quality assurance, implements Dosimetry Laboratory Activities, supports training and the set-up of radiotherapy and nuclear medicine facilities worldwide. IAEA’s expert meetings bring together health professionals for consensus and conclusions on cancer-related issues and develop guidance and publications for dissemination of information in the medical community. The IAEA also develops and maintains powerful databases on human health, such as the one on doubly labelled water, which can help offer insights on the effects of cancer on metabolism, as well as radiotherapy and diagnostic imaging databases.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has presented significant setbacks in cancer care, but our resolve in fighting this disease will not wane,” said Abdel-Wahab. “The IAEA has the knowledge, tools and expertise to help countries use nuclear techniques, such as radiotherapy, to tackle cancer and save lives.”

Learn more about the IAEA’s London Global Cancer Week event and register to attend virtually.

The IAEA has the knowledge, tools and expertise to help countries use nuclear techniques, such as radiotherapy, to tackle cancer and save lives.
May Abdel-Wahab, Director of the IAEA’s Division of Human Health

Stay in touch