City Cancer Challenge (C/Can)

C/Can supports city-led cancer solutions to improve and sustain access to equitable, quality cancer care.
Academia or research institute 7
Hospitals Health Facilities 4
Financial Institutions 2
Local NGOs 4
Life Sciences 2
Global NGOs 7
Technology 3
Pharma Company Foundation 2
Intergovernmental Organizations and Multilaterals 5
Professional and Trade Associations 4
Government 1
  • C/Can leads a city-based partnership initiative that supports cities around the world as they work to improve access to quality, equitable cancer care.
  • C/Can’s innovative, multi-sectoral model works to:
    • Build community-led cancer care solutions.
    • Support health system strengthening.
    • Ensure local ownership and sustainability.

By 2050, two-thirds of the world’s population are expected to live in urban areas, with low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) driving this growth. If we want to effectively tackle the growing cancer burden, cities must play a fundamental role. They provide a unique ecosystem to test and drive innovation in cancer care – meeting people’s needs from the ground up.

C/Can’s innovative, multi-sectoral framework supports cities in implementing changes that can be scaled up and replicated across health services. The C/Can model invests in enhancing connections between people, policies, and processes to build capacity and resilience. It convenes policy makers, healthcare providers, patient groups, and partners, creating communities to support the journey to self-reliance.

There are 13 cities currently working with C/Can on five areas of action: improving health information systems, developing health workforce capacity, catalyzing health financing, strengthening leadership and governance, and strengthening health service delivery.

Cities apply to join C/Can and be considered based on their commitment to fighting cancer, alongside other criteria. Once a city is accepted, they will work with C/Can to identify and engage stakeholders, assess their needs, develop solutions, and execute and sustain projects to improve cancer. A new call for city applications will be launched in 2023.

C/Can was launched by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) in 2017 and was established as a standalone Swiss foundation in 2019. You can find more information on C/Can’s approach and how to get involved here. Our Approach | Supporting Cities as Change Enablers – C/Can – City Cancer Challenge

C/Can is enabling a real-world implementation strategy of combining early diagnosis with timely and effective treatment through development and implementation of locally-led solutions, with the potential to organize health systems and improve health outcomes.
Dr Benjamin O. Anderson
Technical Lead, Global Breast Cancer Initiative, WHO
Results and milestones

In 2017, UICC launched C/Can at the WEF Annual Meeting in Davos and announced Cali (Colombia), Asuncion (Paraguay), and Yangon (Myanmar) as the first cities to participate in the project. UICC announced Kumasi (Ghana) as the 4th city joining the program at the World Cancer Leader’s Summit in Mexico City, Mexico.

In 2018, Kigali (Rwanda) and Porto Alegre (Brazil) joined C/Can.

In 2019, Tbilisi (Georgia), Leon (Mexico), and Greater Petaling (Malaysia) joined C/Can.

In 2020, C/Can launched the City of Tomorrow, a global campaign to inspire cities in LMICs to join the initiative.

In 2021, C/Can received an award from the UN Inter-Agency Task Force (UNIATF) on the Prevention and Control of NCDs, recognizing its contribution to improving access to quality cancer care.

In 2022, Arequipa (Peru), Nairobi (Kenya), Rosario (Argentina), and Phnom Penh (Cambodia) joined C/Can.

Geographic Reach
  • Global Commitment
Disease Area
  • Non-communicable diseases
See Disease Areas
Partner organizations
Academia or research institute

Mayo Clinic

Universidad del Valle

Fred Hutchinson Center for Cancer Research

Ocean Road Cancer Institute Tanzania

Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Department – National University of Asuncion

Catalan Institute of Oncology

Institute for Palliative Medicine (IPM)

Hospitals Health Facilities

Princess Margaret Cancer Center

Asian National Cancer Centers Alliance

Hospital del Mar

National Cancer Center Japan

Financial Institutions

Islamic Development Bank

International Finance Corporation (IFC) - World Bank

Local NGOs

German Association for International Co-operation (GIZ)

Asociacion Latinoamericana de Cuidados Paliativos (ALCP)

Geneva Cities Hub

African Cancer Registry Network (AFCRN)

Life Sciences


ICON Group

Global NGOs

Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI)

Direct Relief

Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)


Health Finance Institute (HFI)

African Palliative Care Association (APCA)

Access Accelerated


Allm Shaping Healthcare

Varian – A Siemens Healthineers Company


Pharma Company Foundation

Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation

My Child Matters Sanofi Espoir Foundation

Intergovernmental Organizations and Multilaterals

World Health Organization (WHO)

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

United Nations Institute for Trainign and Research (UNITAR)

UN Habitat

Geneve International

Professional and Trade Associations

American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)

American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO)

European Society Radiation Oncology (ESTRO)

International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care (ISNCC)


Republique et Canton de Geneve