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M. D. Anderson Joins International Initiative to Advance Breast Cancer Awareness, Detection, Research, Care

State Department Unveils Collaborative Program for Central and South Americas

M. D. Anderson News Release 07/24/04

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, along with its sister institutions in Brazil and Mexico, have joined the new Partnership for Breast Cancer Awareness and Research of the Americas.

Mrs. Laura Bush announced the collaborative program July 9 at the White House Conference on the Americas. The Department of State initiative seeks to improve early breast cancer detection, increase educational and clinical resources and, ultimately, reduce breast cancer deaths in Central and Latin America.

Modeled after the U.S. - Middle East Partnership for Breast Cancer Awareness and Research announced in March, the new program will unite the resources of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the expertise of MD Anderson to develop local resources for breast cancer prevention, clinical care and research. The initiative, designed to be community driven and culturally sensitive, will engage local champions to enhance the vital role women play in their families and communities.

Joining the partnership in the new initiative will be MD Anderson and its sister institutions, Hospital do Cancer A.C. Camargo in Sao Paulo, Brazil and Institute Nacional de Cancerologia (National Institute of Cancer) in Mexico.

The partnership of researchers, clinicians and advocates will work together to tackle a leading killer of women in Central and South America. Cancer is the most common cause of death worldwide, yet, according to some researchers in the United States, breast cancer is vastly understudied and poorly understood among Hispanic and Latina populations.

The World Health Organization reports that breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among women in South America and the third leading cause of cancer death of women in Mexico.

Kendra Woods, Ph.D., director of MD Anderson's Department of Extramural Programs who attended the White House announcement said, "We look forward to working with our partners to establish educational initiatives, prevention strategies and translational research programs that will yield improved clinical care. The partnership is designed to respect the cultures and sensitivities of every region and provide powerful synergies to strengthen our global mission to eliminate cancer. We bring outstanding resources to the partnership and our sister institutions are vital in tailoring programs to what is most effective for each country or region."

Over the last decade, MD Anderson has increasingly pursued progress against cancer through an expansive learn-and-share strategy involving some of the world's top cancer programs. The Partnership for Breast Cancer Awareness and Research of the Americas is MD Anderson's most recent of numerous alliances formed to further the eradication of cancer worldwide through scientific discovery, advanced patient therapies, education and prevention. In addition to the two collaborations with the Department of State and other organizations, MD Anderson has sister institution affiliations with major cancer centers in Lebanon, France, Japan, China, South Korea, Chile, Jordan, Norway and the United Kingdom.

"MD Anderson is a mission-driven organization and the collaborations in which we participate are an ideal match with our mission to eradicate cancer globally," said John Mendelsohn, M.D., president of MD Anderson. "We are honored to by asked by the Department of State to once again join an ambitious and vital initiative, and it is especially an honor to bring our sister institutions into such a partnership.


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