Global Harmonization of Cancer Trials

Successful harmonization means enhanced life-changing therapies for cancer patients. Our collaborative efforts will result in “a drug approved anywhere being available everywhere.”

The Challenge

Experts in oncology agree that harmonizing approval processes and clinical trials globally will benefit patients and save lives. The current state of cancer care highlights several major challenges:

  • Many individuals lack access to clinical trials and the benefits that accrue from them
  • Disharmony slows the development and regulatory approval of cancer treatments
  • Global infrastructure and collaboration must improve

Although it is generally accepted that harmonization is important, a targeted and focused effort to achieve this goal is lacking. To address these challenges, we seek to unite stakeholders and advance the advantages of globally harmonized clinical trials.

Strategic Imperatives

Standards and Best Practices

Define and communicate standards and best practices to streamline cancer trials and maximize equitable participation

Advocacy and Awareness

Create a global forum to drive international collaboration, advocacy and awareness

Education and Support

Provide education, support and advanced solutions for the oncologist community

Call To Action

The pandemic taught us about the power of collaboration and that we can successfully fight huge medical challenges at speed.

Now it’s urgent that we do the same for cancer. We need to use these lessons learned to accelerate equitable access to cancer clinical trials.

Border Rectangle Frame

“The lack of an international system for the approval of new cancer therapies subject to clinical trials is costing as many as 2 million lives per year.” [Daly, et al., 2022¹]

Mission & Vision

The existing disparities in clinical trial accessibility deny many cancer patients potential life-sparing benefits. This disharmony impedes the development and regulatory approval of cancer treatments on a global scale. Although the International Council for Harmonisation (ICH) has provided guidelines and encouraged criteria, their implementation remains unfulfilled. In response, HARMONY is fostering a global collaborative.

With ten million cancer patient deaths annually, it is clearly time to accelerate the goal of building this global network of medical allies to expedite and coordinate global cancer clinical trials and identify areas of congruence among principal regulatory agencies around the world. Harmonizing will enhance life-changing therapies for cancer patients with success defined as “A drug approved anywhere will be available everywhere.”

Meet Our Board Members

HARMONY, a keystone initiative of the Society for Translational Oncology (STO), is guided by a Mission Advisory Board to enhance and support the development of strategies for improved cancer treatment and prevention.

The Society for Translational Oncology is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Symposium: Dakar, Senegal, November 3, 2023

Cancer, A Looming Public Health Crisis in Africa:

A Call to Accelerate Equitable Access to Medicines

A panel of experts discussed key strategies for accelerating the availability of cancer medicines in Africa through a collective and collaborative approach. They addressed the importance of well-designed and meticulously executed clinical trials, along with harmonization and data sharing. Beyond medicine development, the Symposium emphasized the significance of education, training, and the integration of new learnings into the practice of healthcare providers.


  • Prof. Rose Anorlu, MBChB, FMCOG, FRCOG, FWACS, MPH, President, AORTIC
  • Satish Gopal, MD, MPH, Director, Center for Global Health, US National Cancer Institute
  • Sujha Subramanian, PhD, President, Implenomics
  • Martin J. Murphy, DMedSc, PhD, FASCO, Chairman, Society for Translational Oncology/HARMONY

STO gratefully acknowledges support from:

STO welcomes additional support; please contact us for more information.