Upgrading Radiotherapy Services in Moldova

Moldova, a country of nearly 3 million people, is confronted with more than 11,000 new cancer cases a year, many of which are diagnosed at late stage and therefore often have direr prognoses for cure.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is working with Moldova to introduce new technologies and build workforce capacity to improve quality assurance in nuclear medicine, radio-diagnostics and radiotherapy. The country’s nuclear medicine diagnostics capabilities had become obsolete and were not functioning due to a lack of funds for refurbishment and upgrades resulting in the need to terminate these diagnostic and therapeutic interventions.

Fortunately, over the last decade and through the good works of the IAEA, the Agency has provided expert, financial and educational support to enable authorities to upgrade their nuclear medicine units and have cancer patients undergo radiotherapy at the newly equipped Institute of Oncology and the Republican Clinical Hospital, in Chisinau.  Read more about this effort…

Bridging the Gap: working to bring state-of-the-art radiation therapy to challenging environments

The International Cancer Expert Corps, in a cooperative effort with CERN and the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council STFC, is undertaking an initiative to develop innovative, robust and affordable medical linear accelerators for use in low- to middle-income countries.  The article, “Bridging the Gap”, January 15, 2018, CERN COURIER, outlines the history of this project including the recent participation of representatives from Official Development Assistance (ODA) countries in an effort to ensure their particular needs regarding power systems, safety, operability and maintenance are addressed. Read the article…

Participating individuals from ICEC, CERN and STFC, along with experts in accelerator design, medical physics and oncology,  convened in late March, in Manchester, England near the STFC’s Daresbury Laboratory to review the program status and plan for the next phase of development. Watch this space for updates.

 

The Cancer Threat to Africa’s Future

While significant progress has been made in halting the spread of communicable diseases in Africa, rates of non-communicable illnesses, especially cancers, are rising. With just 5% of global funding for cancer prevention spent in Africa, a new global strategy is needed to help manage a looming health crisis. Dan Milner provides insight into the efforts of the American Society for Clinical Pathology and how the organization, along with others, are working to address this potential catastrophe.  Read more

Is Africa a ‘Graveyard’ for Linear Accelerators?

Africa should not be a “graveyard” for Linear Accelerators. There is an urgent need to develop a highly skilled workforce of specifically trained engineers, technicians and physicists necessary to ensure linear accelerators can be safely operated, maintained and serviced in low- and middle-income countries in Africa where the incidence of cancer is disproportionately high. Proper maintenance and repair plans, when implemented, reflect the continent’s capacity to maintain, install, commission and repair the highly technical medical equipment.

Africa Graveyard of Linacs

Look beyond technology in cancer care

“Cancer ‘moonshots’ may improve individual outcomes in high-income countries with strong governance, but they will not solve the rising economic and social burden of cancer globally. What we need are ‘earthshots’ that focus on building infrastructure and delivering affordable, equitable and effective care.” Richard Sullivan, Nature

Nature - Global Health

World Politics Review published ICEC authored article, “How Better Cancer Treatment Can Also Mean Better Nuclear Security”

Today,  World Politics Review, published the article, “How Better Cancer Treatment Can Also Mean Better Nuclear Security” authored by Dr. C. Norm Coleman, Miles Pomper and Dr. Silvia Formenti. The article was written in response to the Washington Post article, “How ISIS nearly stumbled on the ingredients for a ‘dirty bomb’” which discussed the dilemma related to the risk of terrorists developing dirty bombs from materials used for cancer treatment in developing countries.  These countries need better technology and treatment environments, not only to support a transition away from cobalt-60 machines but to improve cancer treatment overall.

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Early Career Leader Mira Shah featured in ASTROnews

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ICEC’s Early Career Leader, Mira Shah was recently featured in an Astronews article that highlighted her and several others’ climb to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for Radiating Hope, an organization that has helped thousands living in low- and middle-income countries receive radiation therapy.

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Early Career Leader Surbhi Grover featured in ASTROnews

 

229One of ICEC’s Early Career Leaders, Surbhi Grover, was recently featured in ASTROnews! Currently, Dr. Grover works in Botswana as head of department and is the only radiation oncologist from a U.S. institution working full-time in public health overseas.

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