BOSTON, MA, United States, via ETELIGIS INC., 03/25/2015 – – Nonprofit Global Oncology, Inc. (GO) today announced the launch of the Global Cancer Project Map, a first-of-its-kind online resource and virtual information exchange for connecting the global cancer community. Developed by GO in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Center for Global Health, the Map enables worldwide access to cancer projects and expertise to improve cancer practices and patient outcomes, especially in low-resource settings.
The Map was unveiled at the Symposium on Global Cancer Research, which is sponsored by NCI, the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH), and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and is taking place in Boston, MA.
GO developed the Global Cancer Project Map to fill a crucial need for shared resources: According to the World Bank, only five percent of global health funding for cancer is committed to oncology in developing countries. This number stands even though Africa, Asia, and Central and South America account for 60% of the world’s new cancer diagnoses and 70% of the world’s cancer deaths, according to the World Health Organization.
“The Map is an important and innovative step forward in our effort to reduce health disparities and strengthen human capital in underserved areas of the world,” said Michele Barry, MD, FACP, and Director of Stanford University’s Center for Innovation in Global Health. “With cancer rates rapidly increasing in low-resource settings, the Map creates a place where the global cancer community can share and access information that is critical to providing better treatment and care.”
The Global Cancer Project Map is an interactive online database that allows users to search for cancer experts and research projects by country and by cancer type, and then to initiate contact with project principal investigators and program directors. The Map launched with more than 700 projects spanning six continents. The goal is for the Map to grow exponentially as awareness builds and an online tool is added in late 2015 allowing users to upload projects directly.
The Global Cancer Project Map covers a wide range of projects, from cancer prevention and screening to capacity training, clinical programs and palliative care. Illustrative projects include:
– Improving diagnostic accuracy of mammograms for breast cancer in Turkey through new methods;
– Preventing arsenic-induced skin cancer in Bangladesh through the study of vitamin E and selenium supplementation;
– Creating an early screening test for gastric cancer in Mexico through biomarker identification leading to an early screening test.
According to Dr. Ted Trimble, director of NCI’s Center for Global Health, though many dedicated researchers and caregivers are conducting groundbreaking cancer programs around the world, until today they could not reference the collective knowledge and experiences of their colleagues in one central place. The Global Cancer Project Map has been highly anticipated in the cancer community and will make a significant impact in cancer patient care and global health.
“Before it was difficult or often impossible to find information about cancer projects or experts, especially in resource-limited settings,” said GO co-founder Ami S. Bhatt, MD, PhD, and Assistant Professor, Stanford University. “The Map now makes it possible to connect colleagues in the global cancer community with a maximum of six clicks of a computer mouse.”
“We have the ambitious goal of providing access to every cancer research, care, and outreach program in the world through the Map,” said GO co-founder Franklin W. Huang, MD, PhD, and Instructor at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. “GO encourages anyone working in cancer to use the Map to get and give valuable information about their projects, contributing to cancer care for patients no matter where they are.”
GO and its recent endeavors have attracted support from leaders in global health and oncology:
"GO’s team of dedicated, multi-talented professionals has created an innovative online resource for cross-pollination among those working to improve access to quality cancer care in low-resource settings. By providing the means for experts around the world to share programs and knowledge, the Map furthers our goal of advancing global health equity."
Howard Hiatt, M.D., Associate Chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and former Dean of the Harvard School of Public Health.
"Having traveled extensively and worked in medical clinics in Cambodia, I have seen firsthand the enormous disparities in health care based solely on where you happen to live. Availability of care for cancer patients is even more sparse in the developing world where a diagnosis of cancer is often a death sentence. GO’s Global Cancer Project Map is aimed at changing that and linking our world so that we can all contribute to closing that gap."
Robert Negrin, M.D., Chief of BMT and Professor of Medicine at Stanford University
Global Oncology, Inc. seeks to alleviate suffering and provide the highest quality cancer care to people in resource-limited settings. GO operates in collaboration with its international partners and a volunteer community of physicians, scientists, designers, engineers, public health experts, policymakers, nurses, lawyers, students, and other professionals working in teams to help people throughout the world who are treating cancer and its related pain.
The passion reflected in the rapid growth of GO since its 2012 launch reflects the commitment of its co-directors who founded GO while Hematology/Oncology Fellows at Harvard Medical School. Co-founder Ami S. Bhatt, MD, PhD, is Assistant Professor at Stanford University and Director for Global Oncology at the Stanford Center for Innovation in Global Health. Co-founder Franklin W. Huang, MD, PhD, is Instructor of Medicine at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School and 2015 recipient of the Partners in Excellence Award for Community Service and the Dana-Farber Community Service Award.
For more information, visit http://globalonc.org/.
SOURCE: Global Oncology, Inc.