Global Health Asia-Pacific Issue 2 | 2023 - Page 36

Cancer News

MD Anderson Cancer Center helps Indonesia reduce disease burden
The centre ’ s specialists will support the country in its fight against cancer

The world-renowned oncology institution at the University of Texas has launched a collaboration with the Indonesian Ministry of Health to share best practices in cancer education , prevention , and treatment .

MD Anderson will assist the country develop national cancer control guidelines and strategies while supporting training and capacity building through the telementoring system Project ECHO , which uses videoconferencing technology to connect primary care providers in rural and underserved areas with specialist doctors .
This will allow MD Anderson experts to collaborate with the 144 government hospitals scattered across Indonesia ’ s 17,000 islands , with Dharmais National Cancer Center in West Jakarta supervising cancer services at the country ’ s hospitals . Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world , spanning some 5,000 kilometres from east to west .
“ MD Anderson is committed to addressing cancer disparities and inequities worldwide in pursuit of our mission through strong local and global alliances and innovative collaborations , including those with WHO , Mo�ambique and now Indonesia , � �r Welela Tereffe , chief medical executive at MD Anderson , said in a press release .
Cancer is the fourth leading cause of death in the country , according to the World Health Organization ( WHO ), with most cases diagnosed at an advanced stage because of poor education on prevention , an insufficient number of oncologists , and geographical challenges .
The agreement is part of M� Anderson ’ s efforts to reduce the burden of cancer worldwide .
“ It is vital for us to build relationships in countries where we can work collaboratively to improve the quality of cancer care and to lessen the impact of cancer on individuals and families worldwide ,” said Dr Peter WT Pisters , president of MD Anderson . “ MD Anderson ’ s mission to end cancer has no borders , and we know that working closely with others who share our goal will bring us closer to Making Cancer History ® .”
Alcohol might increase risk of stomach cancer in East Asians
A genetic mutation makes it hard to digest alcohol


ast Asians who struggle to tolerate alcohol may face a higher risk of a hard-to-treat stomach cancer if they consume alcoholic drinks , according to a new study led by researchers in Japan .
The findings are based on genomic analysis of cells from almost 1,500 patients with stomach cancer in Japan , China , South Korea , Singapore , and the US . East Asians are more likely to have a genetic mutation making it harder to metabolise ( or digest ) alcohol than people of other ancestries . The scientists identified a link between this mutation and the risk of diffuse stomach cancer , a rare but aggressive form of the malignancy .
“ What we can say at this point is that people with low alcohol tolerance are advised to avoid drinking excessively ,” said Dr Tatsuhiro Shibata , lead author and researcher at the National Cancer Center Research Institute in Japan , according to The Japan Times .
He added that more research was needed to gauge the risk in people without cancer since the study focused on patients with the disease .
The researchers also identified 75 genes that are believed to contribute to cancer growth which can now be tested as potential targets for new drugs .
34 ISSUE 2 | 2023 GlobalHealthAsiaPacific . com