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New collaboration agreement with the USA to promote Swedish cancer care

A new bilateral collaboration agreement has been signed between Sweden and the USA to further promote cancer care and research.

Sweden and the USA have previously had a strong collaboration in the field of cancer care and research, and now it is further strengthened by a bilateral agreement. The purpose is to promote the exchange between the countries in both cancer research and the implementation of this research in cancer care, including both prevention and improved quality of life.

The agreement was signed during the US-Sweden Cancer Summit 2024, held from March 12-14 at the Swedish Embassy in Washington, by Swedish Health Minister Acko Ankarberg and the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Health, Andrea Palm. The agreement builds on a previous collaboration between Sweden and the USA from 2016-2021.

"Both Sweden and the USA are leaders in medical research with a strong innovation and life science sector. Together, we both contribute to the global fight against cancer. With this agreement, we continue to work together," said Health Minister Acko Ankarberg Johansson in a press release from the Government.

Swedish Health Minister, Acko Ankarberg.


Present in Washington was Karolinska Institutet's representative, Professor Stephan Mielke, Director of Research, Education and Innovation and Head of Theme Cancer at Karolinska University Hospital. He was part of the Swedish delegation, which also included representatives from Sahlgrenska University Hospital and Skåne University Hospital, among others.

Over a few days, they visited several entities – including the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Inova, Northern Virginia's leading nonprofit healthcare provider.

"It has been incredibly educational, and we have learned a lot in this process, but also to accept different perspectives. Not just from a Swedish perspective to understand the USA, but also the reverse," Mielke said, and continued:

"The most important thing is the importance of co-creational collaboration between healthcare, research, industry, and authorities with the patient at the center. Collaboration between the different parts of cancer care is a must; there is no other way, and this became even clearer. Not least, the visit to NIH was inspiring because they already live in such close collaboration between research and healthcare where ALL patients are treated in clinical trials.

It became so clear how we should work and collaborate moving forward. Not just in Sweden but on an international level. We must understand that the largest market is in the USA – virtually all pharmaceuticals arrive there first and then Europe, so communication between us is very important. Writing this agreement with the USA helps us; it paves the way for, for example, bilateral projects, such as joint clinical trials and data sharing."

Sweden's three Comprehensive Cancer Centers (CCC) are represented by Stephan Mielke (Karolinska), Silke Engholm (Skåne), and Annika Bann (Sahlgrenska).


Karolinska University Hospital gathers expertise in highly specialized cancer care and research within the Karolinska Comprehensive Cancer Center. The center is a joint initiative of Karolinska University Hospital and Karolinska Institutet. It was also the first accredited Comprehensive Cancer Center in Sweden, and now Sahlgrenska and Skåne each have their own Comprehensive Cancer Center.

"Our Swedish Comprehensive Cancer Centers have together become the catalyst for cancer care in Sweden that the development of knowledge demands," says Patrik Rossi, acting Hospital Director at Karolinska University Hospital.

Stephan Mielke (Karolinska CCC), Acko Ankarberg (Sweden's Minister of Health), Malin Hultecrantz (hematologist at MSKCC, New York), Martin Bergö (Vice Chancellor of Karolinska Institutet).
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