CORDIS - EU research results

Improving equity in access to early diagnosis of cancer: implementation research in different healthcare systems of Latin America (EquityCancer-LA)

Project description

Enhancing accessibility to cancer care in Latin American health systems

High mortality rates due to delayed cancer diagnosis and treatment in Latin America are the lethal consequences of the fragmented healthcare system. A comprehensive approach is needed to address this challenge, which particularly affects disadvantaged population groups. The EU-funded EquityCancer-LA project will develop an evaluation scheme for a multi-component, integrated care intervention to improve the early diagnosis of frequent cancers in healthcare networks of Chile, Colombia and Ecuador. The project will focus on tracing the contextual and cost-effectiveness of an affordable, tailored solution to reduce diagnostic delays, developing a strategy for its implementation in different contexts. It will provide novel data about healthcare inequalities and contribute to clinical practice and research on early diagnosis through an innovative use of e-tools.


Healthcare fragmentation is a main cause for delay in cancer diagnosis and treatment, contributing to high and steadily increasing mortality rates in Latin America(LA), particularly among disadvantaged populations. Building on Equity-LA I (GA223123) and II (GA305197), this research focuses on integrated care interventions, which have proven effective at improving early diagnosis of cancer, mostly in HIC, and are also promoted by national cancer plans in LA, but limitedly implemented or evaluated. The objective is to evaluate the contextual effectiveness of scaling-up a multicomponent integrated care intervention to improve early diagnosis of frequent cancers in healthcare networks of Chile, Colombia and Ecuador. Method: This participatory, interdisciplinary and mix-methods implementation research is two-pronged: a) a quasi-experimental design (controlled before and after) with an intervention and a control healthcare network; b) a case study design. Focussing on the most vulnerable socioeconomic population, it develops in four phases: 1) analysis of delays, related factors and contextual barriers to early diagnosis (base-line); 2) adaptation and scaling-up of the intervention (PC training, fast-track referral pathway and patient information, adapting available ICT tools) in real life; 3) intra-country evaluation of intervention; 4) cross-country analysis. ICT tools will be also adopted in research activities as needed in a Covid-19 on-going or post- pandemic context. Relevance: EquityCancer-LA contributes to H2020 call objectives advancing cancer control policies by generating: 1) robust evidence on contextual effectiveness and costs-effectiveness of an affordable, tailored intervention to reduce diagnostic delays; and a validated strategy for its large-scale implementation in LA and LMICs; 2) novel data on delays and key barriers and facilitators to early diagnosis and inequalities in access; 3) e-tools to improve clinical practice and research on early diagnosis.

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Net EU contribution
€ 799 851,25
08022 Barcelona

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Este Cataluña Barcelona
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 799 851,25

Participants (7)