HMC's hosts international cancer research workshop
- Qatar: Wednesday, November 21 - 2012 at 15:42
- PRESS RELEASE
The National Center for Cancer Care and Research (NCCCR), a member of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) hosted an international workshop for cancer clinicians and researchers in Doha on the 17th of November. This workshop was an important step in developing closer cooperation between clinicians and researchers across clinical and academic institutions throughout Qatar and international organizations.
Under the mandate of the Academic Health System (AHS), HMC has worked closely with partners to deliver translational research that encompasses a 'bench to bedside' approach to healthcare.
This approach seeks to translate basic scientific findings into therapeutic interventions for patients.
The Qatar National Cancer Strategy was the first targeted disease strategy that was completed following the launch of the National Health Strategy in 2011.
The National Cancer Research Strategy, launched in 2012, further supports the national goal of improving cancer patient survival rates and quality of life.
Dr Al Hareth Al Khater, Assistant Chairman- Department of Hematology and Oncology and Chairman of HMC's Medical Research Center, said, "Our commitment to evolve into a thriving Academic Health System that links together health, education and research, is essential in encouraging more targeted research designed to provide treatment and healthcare solutions that meet the specific needs of Qatar's population."
"We are working more closely with colleagues, clinical and academic, in Qatar and other excellent centers around the world, on specific research projects that will help patients locally and internationally. This will support the national goal of promoting Qatar as a significant location for cancer research and innovation," he added.
The Main topic was Tumor immunology with a focus on the top 3 cancer diagnosis - Breast Ca, colorectal ca and Leukemia. Many current basic cancer research projects were presented by both HMC and research teams in Qatar, thus highlighting the local research activity related to tumor immunology. One of the leading research projects presented during the workshop was the TNM Classification and Immunuscore project.
This incorporates the development of tumor classification vis a vis evaluating the importance of the host-immune response in order to enable better prognostic information used in predicting cancer treatment responses and outcomes.
This research is led by Dr Jerome Galon, Research Director at INSERM (National Institute of Health and Medical Research) where he is also leading the Integrative Cancer Immunology laboratory:
In order to obtain quantitative measurements to evaluate the importance of the host-immune response, a large-scale approach was developed using a worldwide Immunoscore validation task force. This taskforce encompassed the data collected by pathological laboratories located in 23 established cancer centers in 17 countries, including Qatar.
Dr Hanadi El Ayoubi, Medical Director at NCCCR and lead organizer of the cancer workshop, said, "In recent years, increasing numbers of local researchers have worked on important and groundbreaking research activities in the field of cancer. This workshop aimed to highlight many of these efforts and review how we can work together more effectively to bring about better care for our patients. The workshop was designed to facilitate an exchange of high-level ideas among individuals involved in all aspects of cancer control, education and research and to bridge the gaps between clinicians and academia. We look forward to arranging similar workshops in the future and invite anyone interested in cancer research to contact us."
Cancer is the third leading cause of death in Qatar, and the top five cancer types here are, breast, colorectal, Leukemia, lymphoma and lung. The National Cancer Strategy mandates a comprehensive approach to providing advanced research-based treatment options for patients. A strategic focus for clinicians and researchers is on prevention, early detection, timely intervention and cure of cancer. We need to build local research networks and programs that target these diseases and help in the translation of the basic science to bed side.
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