Tap latent source of frugal cancer ideas | Anticancerfund

Tap latent source of frugal cancer ideas

Bouche, G., Crisp, N., Gyawali, B., & André, N. (2017). Cancer care: Tap latent source of frugal cancer ideas. Nature, 550, 188. doi:10.1038/550188a

Richard Sullivan and colleagues propose ways to improve cancer care globally (Nature 549, 325–328; 2017). For lower-income countries, we suggest that local measures could contribute if they were promoted and developed globally with the help of high-income countries.

'Frugal innovation' in medicine in low-resource settings can suggest cost-effective strategies that are adapted to local constraints to meet an area's needs (see go.nature.com/2hqsyqz). Clinical trials funded by wealthier nations could test the repurposing of inexpensive drugs, such as statins and aspirin, for cancer care (F. Bertolini et alNature Rev. Clin. Oncol. 12, 732–742; 2015). This would help to build medical infrastructure in poorer countries.

Clinicians in low-to-middle-income countries have generated data to support drug repurposing, for example using the β-blocker propranolol to treat blood-vessel cancer (angiosarcoma; see E. Pasquier et alEBioMedicine 6, 87–95; 2016). High-income nations should show much greater interest in such findings, especially in view of the financial burden of cancer treatment. By investing in co-development, they can help to ensure that care is effective, affordable and equitable globally.