An IUSSTF sponsored event on "Epidemiology and prevention of cancer" in Chennai, India.
Indian PI - T.S. Ganesan, Department of Medical Oncology and Head, Clinical Research Cancer Institute (WIA) Chennai
US PI - Ernest Hawk, Division of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
Cancer is an important problem globally. In the USA, data suggest that cancer is one the top three causes of mortality and morbidity. In India, cancer has become an increasingly important public health issue over the past 60 years. Although the incidence of cancer is less in India than in Western nations, the overall burden is high because of the size of the population. However, some cancers are more prevalent in India compared to the West including cervical, head and neck, cholangiocarcinoma and gall bladder cancers. While epidemiological studies in both the USA and India have led to a better understanding of specific causes of cancer, more remains to be done particularly in common tumours such as breast, ovarian and gastrointestinal cancers where clear causative factors are yet to be identified. Molecular studies combined with classical epidemiological studies will be the way forward to delineate causes in some of these cancers. The genetic diversity between populations in India and those in the USA will facilitate molecular and epidemiological insights into the aetiology of various cancers, particularly for those exhibiting differences in incidence between the two countries. Additionally in large and diverse populations, such as India and the USA, it is a challenge to introduce and maintain preventive concepts at the community level. However, progress has been made in the control of breast, cervical and colorectal cancers in the USA largely through co-ordinated detection and early screening programs. Such programs in the USA may offer insights into establishing similar approaches in India. The aim of this joint workshop is to facilitate debate in: (1) classical epidemiology, (2) molecular epidemiology and (3) preventive oncology, so as to develop joint proposals for further research.
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