Cancer Workforce Utilization and Availability Surveys

Commission Overview

Cancer has been described as the “silent pandemic,” with an estimated 27.5 million cases and over 16 million deaths projected to occur by 2040.  About 70% of the new cases of cancer are expected to appear in low- to middle-income countries (LMICs), where unique challenges to addressing this simmering crisis exist. Recognizing that this disease has no geographic, racial, or socioeconomic boundaries, President Biden announced Moonshot 2.0, in which he seeks “ending cancer as we know it” and cutting the cancer death rate in half over the next 25 years.  The purpose of this new Lancet Oncology Commission (US Cancer Moonshot 2.0: A bidirectional collaboration to address oncology workforce challenges in Africa and Latin America) is to define the scale of the cancer care workforce deficit and provide solutions that would help deliver safe, effective, and efficient healthcare to enable all patients to have equitable access to care at the time of need.

The European Society of Radiology (ESR) and The Lancet Oncology (TLO) have joined forces on this initiative.

Model Overview

To inform the current and projected landscape of the global oncology workforce, and to estimate the return on investment of policy interventions to ameliorate workforce challenges, we are developing a model-based analytic framework to simulate the impact of workforce on global cancer incidence and survival outcomes.  This simulation model will focus on the role that workforce personnel play in each step of the care continuum, using data on cancer incidence, stage distribution, and survival.

Workforce Surveys

Setting-specific data on cancer workforce utilization and availability of different personnel types will also be needed to develop the model and inform the commission as a whole.

Two surveys have been developed to gather information on:

1) Workforce utilization: What specific workforce personnel are typically involved in cancer care in each country/setting, from initial diagnosis to service delivery of specific treatment/imaging modalities? This survey is intended to elicit information on how workforce utilization/practices may vary by setting.

2) Workforce availability: How many workforce personnel of each type are practicing in each country, and how many are currently in training and retiring/migrating? This survey is intended to elicit information on the current and future availability (i.e., absolute number) of each personnel type by setting.

The Institutional Review Board (IRB) of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health determined that this project is not human subjects research as defined by DHHS regulations or FDA regulations (IRB24-0364).

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