ICEC is in a critical stage in assembling the public-private global partnership necessary to have an effective solution for the great disparities in global cancer care. This need has been driven in large measure by the trainees and early career people in our specialty who have received invaluable support from mid-career and senior mentors. ARRO and ASTRO have excellent international programs but meeting the requirement for sustainability well beyond these efforts is critical. ICEC focuses on the workforce shortage which, interestingly, is a problem in Lower-Middle Income Countries (LMICs) not only because of the “brain drain” in those countries but also because of a lack of mentors in resource-rich countries as there are few instances where global health can be pursued as a career unless as an activity done as an add-on to normal work responsibilities. This requires a combination of a bona fide career path with departmental support and of well-defined metrics to measure accomplishments. In addition, for people to spend time on altruistic service in academia a mixture of in-kind time, financial assistance and organizational support will be necessary. Another goal of ICEC is to tap into the expertise of skilled practitioners and retirees to provide a global network of mentors that can be accessed by mentees in resource-poor and –rich regions.
Early Career Leaders
Members of the Early Career Leaders Working Group joined us at the Reception at Baker & McKenzie, including Mac Longo and Surbhi Grover.
– As noted above, the Ellen L. Stovall Early Career Leaders Award was awarded to Danielle Rodin, Mac Longo, Surbhi Grover, Tracy Sherertz and Mira Shah. Each is doing exciting and challenging work and ICEC commends them on their commitment to improving the access to quality global cancer care.
Education & Training
– The hiring of an educational expert is essential for developing both our own expertise and for collaborations with educational organizations. One of our early career leaders, Onyinye Balogun, is working with Silvia Formenti on potential models for establishing an education and training program for radiation technologists and ancillary staff.
– Mathili Daphtary, ICEC Central, is building up our education resources section which soon will be available on the ICEC Website.
– Recommendations for linkage sites are welcome and can be sent to EssentialNewsLetter@iceccancer.org.
Partners & Collaborators
– An ICEC-based abstract was presented at the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH). ICEC will be in attendance at the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) 2017 annual meeting.
– An abstract “Security of global nuclear material requires addressing the unacceptable lack of cancer care” has been submitted to the International Conference on Nuclear Security: Commitments and Action to be held at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) December 5-9, 2016 in Vienna.
– We work with and seek potential collaborations with the NCI Center for Global Health, recognizing the distinctions between government programs and NGO activities.
– We have open discussions with ASTRO, SCAROP and ASCO regarding formalizing relationships with professional societies and organizations. We have had initial discussions with the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship.
– We have formal endorsements by the American Brachytherapy Society and Radiating Hope.
– We are working with the Department of Energy regarding the security of radiological materials globally and how this may relate to education and training for a workforce to be able to safely use linear accelerator technology that will replace cobalt-60 treatment machines.
– Inquiries from organizations to work with ICEC are welcome.
Presentations – Key Meetings
– Norm Coleman: International Conference on Translational Research in Radio-Oncology | Physics for Health in Europe, Geneva, February 2016; presented the ICEC model and opened up discussion about the design of a linear accelerator for the developing world. This will be a topic of a meeting in CERN in November 2016
– Norm Coleman: Stanford Medical School Course on Human Rights, and Stanford Radiation Oncology Rounds, February 2016; discussed that it is easy to declare healthcare a human right, implementation is difficult. Presented the unique ICEC mentoring model.
– “Establishing global health cancer care partnerships across common ground: Building on nuclear security, cancer disparities, education and mentorship.” Was presented at the Consortium of Universities for Global Health, San Francisco, April, 2016. A copy of the presentation is on the ICEC website.
– Surbhi Grover (presenter) and Norm Coleman (moderator): Global health, ASTRO, October 2016
Publications (since the last Essential News Letter related to ICEC and/or from ICEC members relevant to global health; readers, please provide additional citations):
- Treatment, not Terror: Strategies to Enhance External Beam Cancer Therapy in Developing Countries While Permanently Reducing the Risk of Radiological Terrorism by Miles A. Pomper, Ferenc Dalnoki-Veress and George M. Moore is posted on the ICEC website.
- An editorial summarizing the Treatment, not Terror concept by M. Pomper and N. Coleman, under review.
- Knaul FM, Langer A, Atun R, Rodin D, Frenk J, Bonita R. Rethinking maternal health. Lancet Glob Health. 2016 Apr;4(4):e227-8.
Innovation and entrepreneurship
– There is a need for linear accelerator technology that can function in the developing world and be of sufficiently high quality to meet the needs of the patients and maintain the interests of the local physicians and staff. To address this, the ICEC is working with the physicists at CERN (Geneva) at their invitation for a meeting on this subject Nov 7-8, 2016. Manjit Dosanjh, Dave Pistenmaa and Norm Coleman are working on an agenda and invitation list. This will bring together engineers, physicists, academia and industry to address innovative approaches that would have a substantial impact on filling the gap of 5000 linear accelerators in LMICs and other underserved regions. More on this in the next Essential News Letter.
– Norm Coleman will receive the Failla Award from the Radiation Research Society at the annual meeting in Kona Hawaii, October 2016. “Failla Award and Lectureship: The Failla Lectureship was established by the 29th RRS Council to honor Dr. Gioacchino Failla. The lecture was first given in 1963. The Failla Lectureship may be considered as an award for a distinguished career in radiation research, or an award to an individual who is in mid-career, highly productive, and working in an exciting and cutting-edge area of radiation research.”
– ICEC’s Chief Operating Officer, Nina Wendling, though racing through chronic pain from a previous injury, finished only 12 minutes behind professional triathlete Wendy Ingraham, overall 12th woman and in the top 20% of the entire field at Ironman 70.3 St. Croix, and qualified for the World Championships in Australia in August.