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Building Bridges to Conquer Cancer – My Cancer Blog
Jul 142013
 

chicago2007_bearbeitet-3 KopieAmerican Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting 2013

Did you know that simple vinegar (acetic acid) could save lives? It’s not only rocket science advancing patient outcome. Although cutting- edge and practice-changing science in Oncology is what the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is mainly about- the stunning vinegar approach  by the Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai, towards cervical cancer screening and early detection found its way to the meeting.

With more than 30,000 oncology professionals participating and more than 5000 abstracts submitted the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is one of the largest international, interdisciplinary and cross-functional meetings in Clinical Oncology (abstracts available on www.asco.org-. or www.abstract.asco.org)  Oncology professionals from all around the world met in Chicago between 31st May and 4th June 2013 in order to discuss cutting- edge and practice-changing science in Oncology, as well as extraordinary approaches in the prevention, early detection and treatment of cancer throughout the world.

Building Bridges to Conquer Cancer

As expected the majority of the presentations and posters were dedicated to targeted agents for cancer treatments, highly sophisticated tests to detect cancer and to find the right drug for the right patient ( abstracts online: www.abstract.asco.org and  www.asco.org). Developing countries currently lack sufficient economic and trained human ressources  to support the high costs of and vital structural/organisational changes in health care for successful cancer care and screening. Cancer prevention might be the cheapest approach, but is also a matter of structures and trained human ressources.

Worldwide 7.6 Million people died from cancer in 2008 and approx.. 70% of cancer deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries – 30% of cancers could be prevented. (Ressource: http://www.who.int/cancer/en/ ). Even within some countries access to health care and proper treatment differs between patients with low, middle and high income. These gaps between low and middle income countries and human beings and high income have to be bridged. ASCO plans to build bridges to conquer cancer. And this was the common theme of this years’ ASCO Annual Meeting: “Building Bridges to Conquer Cancer”, i.e. building bridges to improve cancer care in the settings of poverty.

Vinegar saving lifes?

Inadequate infrastructures, lack of trained professionals, logistic difficulties and high costs are the challenges to manage, in order to build the bridges. One bridge built could be the vinegar- approach presented  by Surendra Shastri from the Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai, India ( abstract no.2: Effect of visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) screening by primary health workers on cervical cancer mortality: A cluster randomized controlled trial in Mumbai, India-  http://meetinglibrary.asco.org/content/112133-132 ).

As in the rest of the developing world, cervical cancer is also in India the leading cause of cancer death in women (amounting to 30 %  of the global burden- as per Shastri, abstract no.2). The primary cause of cervical cancer is a sexual transmittable infection with the very common human papilloma virus (HPV).  More details on the disease can be found on the WHO-webpage: http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/cancers/9241547006/en/

Early detection and treatment of this cancer could save lives. Therefore in many countries e.g. Germany, a Pap smear screening based on a laboratory analysis is available. This screening method requires well trained professionals, laboratories and concerning infrastructures and investments. Things India can’t efford in the depth required. Shastri tested a cheap and simple vinegar (acetic acid) screening method implemented through trained paramedical workers /local staff and could show considerable impact on womens lives: The cervical cancer death rates declined by nearly one-third. The scientists estimate the vinegar-screening could save 22,000 lives in India and 73,000 lives worldwide per year (Surendra et al., ASCO Plenary Session Presentation, Abstract No.2 on http://meetinglibrary.asco.org/content/112133-132 ) For details on the methodology also refer to WHO-download material: http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/cancers/9789241505260/en/index.html

A step ahead- Room for Bridges to Cancer Prevention

Of course a huge step forward with vinegar only. But the high income countries are a few steps forward again. Since 2008 nobelprize winner Harald zur Hausen demonstrated novel properties of HPV that have led to an understanding of mechanisms for papilloma virus-induced carcinogenesis and the predisposing factors for viral persistence and cellular transformation. He made HPV16 and 18 available to the scientific community. Vaccines have been shown to prevent potentially precancerous lesions of the cervix and are available on the market in some countries since 2006 providing ≥95 % protection from infection by the high risk HPV16 and 18 type. The vaccines may also reduce the need for surgery and the global burden of cervical cancer (he 2008 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine – Press Release”. Nobelprize.org. Nobel Media AB 2013. Web. 14 Jul 2013. http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/2008/press.html; “Harald zur Hausen – Facts”. Nobelprize.org. Nobel Media AB 2013. Web. 14 Jul 2013. http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/2008/hausen-facts.html)

Avoiding cancer by effective cancer prevention might be easier affordable, cheaper and easier to handle than cancer care. So there is still room for building bridges to conquer cancer and place for the development of stunning solutions to local challenges in health care system structures. Vinegar and paramedical workers might be the beginning but not the end of new roles and responsibilities in future health care systems to meet future needs and save lives.

Reliable patient-oriented  information on more than 120 cancer types are available on www.cancer.net and an interactive timeline of cancer research is published online on www.cancerProgress.net

 

 

American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting 2013

Did you know that simple vinegar (acetic acid) could save lives? It’s not only rocket science advancing patient outcome. Although cutting- edge and practice-changing science in Oncology is what the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is mainly about- the stunning vinegar approach  by the Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai, towards cervical cancer screening and early detection found its way to the meeting.

With more than 30,000 oncology professionals participating and more than 5000 abstracts submitted the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is one of the largest international, interdisciplinary and cross-functional meetings in Clinical Oncology (abstracts available on www.asco.org-. or www.abstract.asco.org)  Oncology professionals from all around the world met in Chicago between 31st May and 4th June 2013 in order to discuss cutting- edge and practice-changing science in Oncology, as well as extraordinary approaches in the prevention, early detection and treatment of cancer throughout the world.

Building Bridges to Conquer Cancer

As expected the majority of the presentations and posters were dedicated to targeted agents for cancer treatments, highly sophisticated tests to detect cancer and to find the right drug for the right patient ( abstracts online: www.abstract.asco.org and  www.asco.org). Developing countries currently lack sufficient economic and trained human ressources  to support the high costs of and vital structural/organisational changes in health care for successful cancer care and screening. Cancer prevention might be the cheapest approach, but is also a matter of structures and trained human ressources.

Worldwide 7.6 Million people died from cancer in 2008 and approx.. 70% of cancer deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries – 30% of cancers could be prevented. (Ressource: http://www.who.int/cancer/en/ ). Even within some countries access to health care and proper treatment differs between patients with low, middle and high income. These gaps between low and middle income countries and human beings and high income have to be bridged. ASCO plans to build bridges to conquer cancer. And this was the common theme of this years’ ASCO Annual Meeting: “Building Bridges to Conquer Cancer”, i.e. building bridges to improve cancer care in the settings of poverty.

Vinegar saving lifes?

Inadequate infrastructures, lack of trained professionals, logistic difficulties and high costs are the challenges to manage, in order to build the bridges. One bridge built could be the vinegar- approach presented  by Surendra Shastri from the Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai, India ( abstract no.2: Effect of visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) screening by primary health workers on cervical cancer mortality: A cluster randomized controlled trial in Mumbai, India-  http://meetinglibrary.asco.org/content/112133-132 ).

As in the rest of the developing world, cervical cancer is also in India the leading cause of cancer death in women (amounting to 30 %  of the global burden- as per Shastri, abstract no.2). The primary cause of cervical cancer is a sexual transmittable infection with the very common human papilloma virus (HPV).  More details on the disease can be found on the WHO-webpage: http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/cancers/9241547006/en/

Early detection and treatment of this cancer could save lives. Therefore in many countries e.g. Germany, a Pap smear screening based on a laboratory analysis is available. This screening method requires well trained professionals, laboratories and concerning infrastructures and investments. Things India can’t efford in the depth required. Shastri tested a cheap and simple vinegar (acetic acid) screening method implemented through trained paramedical workers /local staff and could show considerable impact on womens lives: The cervical cancer death rates declined by nearly one-third. The scientists estimate the vinegar-screening could save 22,000 lives in India and 73,000 lives worldwide per year (Surendra et al., ASCO Plenary Session Presentation, Abstract No.2 on http://meetinglibrary.asco.org/content/112133-132 ) For details on the methodology also refer to WHO-download material: http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/cancers/9789241505260/en/index.html

A step ahead- Room for Bridges to Cancer Prevention

Of course a huge step forward with vinegar only. But the high income countries are a few steps forward again. Since 2008 nobelprize winner Harald zur Hausen demonstrated novel properties of HPV that have led to an understanding of mechanisms for papilloma virus-induced carcinogenesis and the predisposing factors for viral persistence and cellular transformation. He made HPV16 and 18 available to the scientific community. Vaccines have been shown to prevent potentially precancerous lesions of the cervix and are available on the market in some countries since 2006 providing ≥95 % protection from infection by the high risk HPV16 and 18 type. The vaccines may also reduce the need for surgery and the global burden of cervical cancer (he 2008 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine – Press Release”. Nobelprize.org. Nobel Media AB 2013. Web. 14 Jul 2013. http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/2008/press.html; “Harald zur Hausen – Facts”. Nobelprize.org. Nobel Media AB 2013. Web. 14 Jul 2013. http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/2008/hausen-facts.html)

Avoiding cancer by effective cancer prevention might be easier affordable, cheaper and easier to handle than cancer care. So there is still room for building bridges to conquer cancer and place for the development of stunning solutions to local challenges in health care system structures. Vinegar and paramedical workers might be the beginning but not the end of new roles and responsibilities in future health care systems to meet future needs and save lives.

Reliable patient-oriented  information on more than 120 cancer types are available on www.cancer.net and an interactive timeline of cancer research is published online on www.cancerProgress.net