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June 26, 2012

Forming a global cancer network for research, clinical care, education and prevention.

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MD Anderson and Hacettepe Become Sister Institutions

Yesterday, on June 25, 2012, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Hacettepe University in Ankara, Turkey signed a Sister Institution Agreement, reinforcing the two institutions’ dedication to collaborative research and education in the effort to eradicate cancer. Signing on behalf of MD Anderson was Oliver Bogler, Ph.D., senior vice president of Academic Affairs and vice president of Global Academic Programs; and professors Murat Tuncer, M.D., president of Hacettepe University and Emin Kansu, M.D., director of Hacettepe Cancer Institute.

Hacettepe University’s 3,500 staff and faculty provide more than 100 undergraduate and 263 post-graduate programs to serve the educational needs of more than 30,000 students. The Faculty of Medicine and the Hacettepe University Hospitals, provide for the medical educational needs of the University, while the Cancer Institute, which was founded in 1982, provides post-graduate students with basic, clinical and epidemiological knowledge of cancer and conducts clinical and basic research in the field of oncology.

The Institute offers post-graduate degrees in general oncology, cancer epidemiology, radiation physics and other oncology disciplines. Through its collaboration with Hacettepe University’s Faculty of Medicine and Hacettepe University Hospital, the Institute contributes to fellowship programs in medical, pediatric and radiation oncology. Well known for research and education, the Institute supports the patient services of Hacettepe University Hospital, the major referral center for cancer patients in Turkey, with about 5,000 new cancer cases diagnosed yearly.

Through Global Academic Programs, MD Anderson has built a coalition of Sister Institutions, known as the Sister Institution Network, to provide funding and institutional support for international research and education collaboration. These Sister Institutions not only engage with MD Anderson, but are better able to build relationships with others among the network, thereby magnifying the impact their research can have on the goal of lessening the burden of cancer worldwide.

Hacettepe and MD Anderson have already been engaged in collaborative research in areas of cancer therapeutics and therapeutic delivery. Future plans include research in molecular targeted therapies, gene marker identification and targeted therapy development, among others. Collaborative plans also include nursing education, faculty exchange, joint conferences, a possible joint M.D./Ph.D. program and continued postdoctoral training. Becoming a Sister Institution will allow the research collaborations between the institutions to accelerate and strengthen the expertise of the overall network.
"MD Anderson is delighted to welcome Hacettepe University Cancer Institute to our Sister Institution Network,” said Bogler. “Our physicians and investigators are excited to realize the strategic opportunities to strengthen our shared battle against cancer".

Calendar of Events

Symposia on Cancer Research 2012
San Diego, California
Sept. 21-22, 2012

DKFZ Stem Cell Symposium
Heidelberg, Germany
Oct. 14-16, 2012

Yonsei Joint Symposium
Seoul, Korea
Oct. 18-19, 2012


Personalized Cancer Care Conference

From September 7-9, 2012, several Norwegian universities and research organizations will host the Personalized Cancer Care Symposium in Oslo, Norway.  Abstract submissions are due by July 15th and registration ends August 1st. Organizers of the conference include Oslo University Hospital, Dana Farber Cancer Institute and the Fritz Bender Foundation in Munich, Germany. While a variety of researchers will be attending and presenting, MD Anderson's representative will be Gordon Mills, M.D., chair of the Department of Systems Biology. Topics will include the genetic and molecular profiling of patients and their disease, targeted therapies and ethical and communication challenges.

WIN 2012 in June

On June 28th and 29th, academic thought leaders and high-ranking officers from pharma, biotech and information technology companies will gather in Paris at the WIN2012 Symposium to present and discuss breakthroughs that will advance personalized cancer medicines ability to impact cancer and the patients affected by the disease.

WIN 2012 will address new ways to advance individualized cancer therapy by applying new technologies, including targeted therapeutics and diagnostic biomarkers, and by designing and conducting innovative clinical trials in oncology. The program will include the first-ever disclosure of new technologies that are able to predict the efficacy of therapeutics for the treatment of cancer patients on an individual basis.

Network News

Global Conference on Perioperative Medicine

Vijaya Gottumukkala, M.D. and Dilip Thaka, M.D., professors in the Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine along with Thomas Rahlfs, M.D., chair of the same department,  are co-chairs of the Inaugural Global Conference on Perioperative Medicine Care of the Elderly and the Cancer Patient set to be held at MD Anderson from Nov. 28-Dec. 2, 2012. The conference, which will subsequently be held at international locations, will focus on perioperative aspects of geriatric and cancer medicine, as well as clinical practice topics like technology, monitoring and management, holistic care, affordable and cost-effective care, provider health and building effective teams. The goal of the five days of discussions and information sharing is to contribute to the evolution of the program into a multi-specialty consortium that enables the global perioperative community to address the educational, research and clinical needs of both practitioners and patients. The advisory committee includes physicians from Argentina, Taiwan, Denmark, Australia, Canada and China, in addition to the United States. GAP Connect will have additional information as it becomes available.