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December 2020

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LACOG supports researchers in developing clinical studies because the group believes that partnerships between researchers and cooperative groups are essential in the search for the best treatment for cancer patients. Likewise, the partnership between cooperative groups strengthens research development. LACOG was chosen to be the South American partner of Breast International Group (BIG) Against Breast Cancer to run studies in our region. BIG is a non-profit institution based in Belgium. It has sought to encourage breast cancer research internationally for over 20 years by encouraging cooperation between its members. BIG conducts clinical trials and research programs to find better treatment options for breast cancer. Currently, the BIG network unites over 55 groups and covers more than 50 countries in six continents. The group connects thousands of hospitals and breast cancer specialists that are focused on pioneering research into the disease. This global collaboration makes it possible to reduce unnecessary duplication of effort and to share data. It also enables scientists to work collaboratively, regardless of the country they reside in. Through these partnerships, members are able to share their knowledge and exchange scientific information with several different researchers worldwide. Such alliance increases the chances of developing better treatment options for breast cancer

The incidence of cancer and its mortality rates have been increasing worldwide, especially in developing countries due to their growing and aging population. “Bladder cancer is the tenth most common cause of cancer across the world, with 549 thousand new cases and 200 thousand deaths estimated each year”, explains Dr. Vinícius Carrera Souza, an oncologist from the Instituto D'Or - Bahia and a researcher at LACOG.  According to Dr. Souza, little is known about the epidemiology, clinical-pathological characteristics, standard treatments and outcomes of advanced urothelial carcinoma of the renal pelvis, ureter, bladder or urethra in Latin America. “The latest estimates indicated that the incidence of bladder cancer is 7 per 100,000 in men and 2.3 per 100,000 in women. However, these data are probably underestimated due to scarcity of cancer records. Fortunately, there has been an increased interest in clinical and pathological information collection regarding metastatic urothelial cancer in Latin America.” Considering that, Dr. Souza began the Bladder Cancer Registry study (LACOG 1518). The study aims to create a Latin American multicenter database to analyze epidemiological, clinical and pathological data, treatments, outcomes and biological information from patients with recurrent / metastatic urothelial cancer. The study will cover 204 patients from Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, and

In September 2020, investigators from the LACOG Head and Neck Cancer Group published the results of the study:  “Health-related quality of life outcomes in head and neck cancer: results from a prospective, real-world data study with Brazilian patients treated with intensity modulated radiation therapy, conformal and conventional radiation techniques” in the well-known scientific periodical, International Journal of Radiation Oncology – Biology – Physics. The study involved 570 Brazilian patients with head or neck cancer and assessed the impact of three different types of radiotherapy: Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), conformational radiotherapy and conventional radiotherapy, on patients’ quality of life and overall survival. According to Dr. Marcos Santos, radio-oncologist at the CONFIAR-Goiânia Group and the principal investigator who carried out the study for the group, having a paper accepted for publication shows that Brazil is now playing an active part in producing the real world data that is relied upon by regulatory agencies around the world when making decisions on technology. “It also means that, if we invest in encouraging the use of IMRT to treat head and neck cancer, we can be confident that, depending on the amount, it will be of real help to patients.” The findings of the trial confirm that

Over 300 donors contributed to the fundraising activities, supported by medical oncologists from all over Brazil.  A Fundraising campaign raised BRL 184,000, between July and September, to fund research into the fight against head and neck cancer.  “A thousand tests for cancer research” was the slogan for the campaign, which was carried out in partnership with the Brazilian Group for Head and Neck Cancer - GBCP, and the Latin American Cooperative Oncology Group - LACOG. The campaign was heavily featured online, supported by doctors, celebrities, influencers and patients and the results exceeded all expectations.  The basic aim of the campaign was to fund the basic costs for taking and storing a thousand laboratory tests - blood samples and biopsies. The campaign beat its target by an extra 43%, which means that it raised enough for the basic costs of 1430 tests.  This result was only possible thanks to the dedication of doctors and investigators of the GBCP who found an innovative way to win over 335 donors to the cause. Despite the difficulties caused by Covid-19, the donation page had over seven thousand hits. As well as raising funds, the campaign wanted to raise awareness of the importance of supporting research in Brazil.  According to

The delay between diagnosis and the beginning of a disease treatment is a reality for many patients, oncological or not. Such delay has a significant impact on the quality of life and, in many cases, on overall survival of patients. Seeking to describe the journey of patients with ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer, Dr. Eldsamira Mascarenhas, a clinical oncologist at Oncologia D'Or Salvador, along with LACOG, is coordinating the observational study: The journey of patients with ALK-positive advanced lung cancer in Brazil (LACOG 1918). “We wish to understand what patients with ALK-positive advanced lung cancer face from the moment they receive the diagnosis until the beginning of treatment. With this information, we will be able to act more effectively and therefore provide earlier diagnosis and therapy”, she explains. According to Dr. Mascarenhas, studies like this are important because there has been a significant increase in cancer incidence over the years. “Developing a clinical research will answer important questions we have about this population.” Dr. Mascarenhas believes that clinical research transforms society around the world. However, Brazil still does not play a prominent role in this scenario since we have had little participation in the development of studies. For that reason, the work

The Brazilian Thoracic Oncology Group (GBOT) held its 2020 Virtual Symposium on November 6th and 7th. For the first time, the event took place entirely online. “Due to the unusual format of the event, it was a challenge for the group and the board to develop a program that would be captivating, especially considering the amount of online lectures and symposia we have had over the last few months. However, I think that this format made the event more interactive because it enabled the participants to discuss topics and share their own experiences, rather than just listen to the lectures,” explains Dr. Ana Gelatti, the GBOT vice president. The aim of the symposium is to discuss the main developments in lung cancer diagnosis and treatment, as well as the latest evidences on tumor markers, new drugs and therapies. Around 400 pulmonologists, radio-oncologists, thoracic surgeons, clinical oncologists, and other specialists participated in the event. Dr. Gellati especially highlights the Sessions of Controversies regarding the management of patients with lung cancer. Osimertinib in adjuvant treatment, the relationship of two immunotherapies in first-line lung cancer treatment and the assessment of patient N2 and the best approach in their case were some of the topics discussed