Emerging Issues


Promoting cost-effective treatments and health literacy on cancer

Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally and was responsible for 8.8 million deaths in 2015. Seventy percent of deaths from cancer occur in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). RTI’s multidisciplinary team works to understand the factors that increase cancer risk, to develop and promote effective and cost-effective strategies that reduce the burden of cancer, and to eliminate cancer health disparities.

Our history in cancer research traces back to the origins of RTI, when we created the first drug to stop the growth of cancer cells. Today we focus both on cancer prevention and research. In LMICs, our work includes determining cost-effectiveness of cancer prevention, screening, and treatment programs; conducting research to understand local contexts and how it can be used to inform the development of cancer programs; and implementing strategies to promote health literacy about cancer. We partner with federal, state, and local governments as well as nongovernmental organizations to develop tools for both patients and providers that contribute in the fight against cancer. We focus especially on cancers that disproportionately affect those in LMICs, including breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers.

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