United States and the Republic of Chile Partner to Battle Cancer
A new alliance between the United States National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Chile, aims to accelerate progress against cancer in Hispanic populations in the United States and Latin America by strengthening and expanding cooperation in a broad range of mutual interests, emphasizing basic and clinical cancer research, bioinformatics, data systems and informatics, and transfer of technology.
Akinso: A new alliance between the National Cancer Institute and the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Chile, aims to accelerate progress against cancer in Hispanic populations in the United States and Latin America. Dr. Jorge Gomez, Director of NCI's Office of Latin American Cancer Program Development explains that the alliance aims to strengthen and expand cooperation in a broad range of mutual interests, including basic and clinical cancer research.
Gomez: I think this is a very unique partnership. The idea is to work with the Latin American countries in a collaborative way, so that we can gain a better understanding of cancer in Latin American men and women and also trying to extrapolate that information to our Latinos here in the United States.
Akinso: In 2006, cancer was estimated to be the second leading cause of death in Chile. Cancer mortality rates for Chilean males are highest in stomach, lung and prostate cancers, while for Chilean females the highest mortality rates are in gallbladder, breast, and stomach cancers. Dr. Gomez says the incidence of cancer in Latin America is similar to the U.S.
Gomez: Cancer is the number two cause of morbidity and mortality in Latin America, followed by cardiovascular diseases. It's almost the same as in the United States. So they have a tremendous problem in terms of the prevalence and the incidence of cancer in Latin America. And I think that we haven't seen the problem in the United States is because the Hispanic population here in the United States is a little bit younger so but we'll see it in the near future. So we need to be prepared for that.
Akinso: Chilean Undersecretary of Public Health Dr. Jeanette Vega and NCI Director Dr. John E. Niederhuber signed a letter of intent where both institutions will work under a collaborative agreement to advance cancer research that meets the needs of Chile and the United States. Dr. Gomez says both sides are eager to work with each other and hope this leads to breakthroughs within cancer research in both countries.
Gomez: So I think eventually we hope that they will become completely independent and they will collaborate with the United States and different universities and hospitals here to do high quality research.
Akinso: Dr. Gomez says this cooperative effort may include promoting the exchange of technical information and research materials, development of collaborative research projects, reciprocal access to laboratories and training activities. For information about this collaborative effort, visit www.cancer.gov. This is Wally Akinso at the National Institutes of Health.