|United States and Four Latin American Countries
Partner to Battle Cancer
The United States National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the
National Institutes of Health, formalized bilateral partnerships
this week with the governments of Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and
Uruguay, to accelerate progress against cancer in Hispanic populations
in the United States and Latin America and improve cancer research.
John E. Niederhuber, M.D., NCI director, representing the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services, signed formal letters
of intent to collaborate in cancer research efforts. These countries,
along with Chile (which signed a letter of intent in June) and
the United States, comprise the United States-Latin America Cancer
Research Network (US-LA CRN), which is committed to developing
a comprehensive understanding of the cancer burden among Hispanic
populations in Latin America and the United States and to enhance
the cancer research and care infrastructures in both regions of
"The coming together of nations today is certainly symbolic
of our common commitment to advance cancer research, but it is
much more. Understanding why certain cancers are more prevalent
in certain countries and why immigration patterns may affect cancer's
burden will be crucial," said Niederhuber. "By electronically
linking cancer research data, cancer researchers in Latin America
and the United States will be able develop new knowledge of cancer
trends — from individual communities to large populations."
Spearheaded by NCI's Office of Latin American Cancer Program
Development, this partnership will support the co-development of
programs in three broad scientific areas: cancer research and clinical
trials; multinational and multidisciplinary training programs;
technology and capacity building. The Latin American countries
and the United States will link their research efforts through
the cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid, an information network
enabling the US-LACRN members to share data and knowledge. The
network participants will also initiate pilot projects to expand
research efforts and improve the delivery of cutting-edge cancer
treatments to patients in the United States and Latin America.
"This network is tremendously important to our nation," said
Lino Barañao, Ph.D., minister of Science, Technology and Productive
Innovation, Argentina. "One of our main goals is to translate
discoveries and new information from basic and clinical research
to enhance technology platforms and ultimately save lives."
"Leveraging and sharing our resources across the network
will help us develop strategies for better access to mammography
and enhance existing tumor and DNA banks and cancer information
systems throughout Brazil," said Luiz Antonio Santini, M.D.,
director general, National Cancer Institute, Brazil. "We
are pleased to be a part of a vast network that will help us improve
progress in the fight against cancer in Brazil, while benefiting
our fellow Latin American countries and Hispanic/Latino populations
in the United States."
In Latin America, cancer is among the top three deadliest diseases,
and its incidence in these countries continues to rise. Cancer
also takes a large toll on Hispanic/ Latino populations in the
United States. It is estimated that the U.S. Hispanic population
will climb to nearly 60 million and represent approximately 19
percent of the U.S. population by 2020. Reducing the burden of
cancer in the United States and abroad will depend heavily on understanding
and controlling cancer in this population.
Maria Julia Muñoz, M.D., minister of Public Health, Uruguay,
stated, "Establishing a national network of tumor banks and
enhancing research training in bioethics is vitally important to
enhancing our understanding of cancer at the molecular level so
that we can translate discoveries to improve clinical care."
For the first pilot project of this collaboration, the countries
identified research concepts that are intended to improve breast
cancer management in Latin America. At the same time, they will
provide an opportunity to enhance research training, capacity building,
and establishment of a sustainable clinical research infrastructure
for future projects. The effort builds on collaborative resources
among the countries as well as co-sponsorships of workshops and
conferences with domestic and international foundations and organizations
to support cancer research in Latin America.
"Breast cancer is one of the top causes of cancer deaths
in Mexico and the United States," said Alejandro Mohar Betancourt,
M.D., director general, National Cancer Institute, Mexico. "Developing
a population-based cancer registry and enhancing breast cancer
detection and referral, as well as improving the accessibility
of mammography and increasing the number of trained personnel,
are major priorities for us. We are committed to sharing best practices
developed as part of the United States-Latin America Cancer Research
Network and reducing the global burden of cancer."
For more information about NCI's Office of Latin American Cancer
Program Development, please go to http://olacpd.cancer.gov
To view a Spanish translation of this release, please go to http://www.cancer.gov/espanol/noticias/ArgentinaBrasilMexicoUruguayUS
For photos and b-roll video from the signings, please contact the
NCI press office at (301) 496-6641 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation,
Argentina: The Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive
Innovation was created in December of 2007 by president Cristina
Fernandez de Kirchner. It has among its guidelines contributing,
through science and technology to the economical, social and
cultural development of the country. To achieve this, the Ministry
has selected three platforms — biotechnology, nanotechnology
and ICT — whose growth will allow Argentina to specifically solve
problems in four sectors such as health, energy, agriculture
and society. Please visit http://www.mincyt.gob.ar
Instituto Nacional de Câncer (INCA), Brazil: The
National Cancer Institute (INCA) of the Ministry of Health plays
multiple roles in all areas of cancer prevention and control in
Brazil — prevention, epidemiological surveillance, treatment,
information, education and research.
As a technical branch of the Federal Government, under the direct
administration of the Ministry of Health, the Institute delivers
cancer care through five hospital units within the National Public
Health Care System (SUS). Moreover, it formulates and coordinates
public policies, develops research activities and disseminates
practices and knowledge on medical oncology.
INCA has a wide variety of collaborations with national and international
institutions and organizations, such as NCI, American Cancer Society,
BC Cancer Agency of Canada, UICC, WHO, IARC among others. Please
Instituto Nacional de Cancerologia, Mexico: The
Instituto Nacional de Cancerología de México is a national referral
center for cancer patients. It is located in Mexico City and provides
medical care for adult patients with cancer, training of medical
fellows in all oncological disciplines, and develops clinical,
basic and translational research. On a daily basis, a total of
700-750 patients are seen in the outpatient clinic. This institute
is highly equipped, including conformal-radiotherapy, CT-scan,
PET-CT, micropet, laparascopy units, a microarray lab, etc. The
INCan has a wide variety of collaborations with national and international
medical institutions and organizations, such as MD Anderson, Harvard
University, Instituto Catalán de Oncología, American Cancer Society,
Lance Armstrong Foundation, UICC, among others.
Ministry of Public Health, Uruguay: Please visit the ministry's
Web site at http://www.msp.gub.uy for
NCI leads the National Cancer Program and the NIH effort to dramatically
reduce the burden of cancer and improve the lives of cancer patients
and their families, through research into prevention and cancer
biology, the development of new interventions, and the training
and mentoring of new researchers. For more information about cancer,
please visit the NCI Web site at http://www.cancer.gov or
call NCI's Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237).
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's
Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and Centers
and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic,
clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates
the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases.
For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.