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January 2021

  /    /  January

A group of investigators from LACOG and CLICaP, together with 30 young oncologists from eight Latin American countries, undertook a study called “Mentoring as an opportunity to improve research and cancer care in Latin America” (AAZPIRE Project) with the aim of assessing mentoring programs in countries in Latin America, along with obstacles and limitations to implementation. The paper was published in December, in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).  “Mentoring programs in our countries are limited and we depend on those conducted in major oncology associations, with completely different social and economic realities. This highlights the importance of creating mentorship programs in our region”, explains Dr. Martín Angel, a clinical oncologist at the Alexander Fleming Institute, in Argentina, and a LACOG investigator. He further underscored: “one of the leading benefits of mentoring programs in clinical research in Latin America will be through deeper insight into regional epidemiology, steering our health policies and ensuring better care for patients based on the prevalent pathologies.”

The Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) Foundation is an organization based in Columbia, in the United States, which works to promote clinical research in prevention and treatment of gynecologic cancers, such as ovarian, cervical , endometrial, vulvar, and vaginal cancers. The foundation has a network of over 400 members and has already given support on the conduction of 350 clinical trials, reaching over 115,000 patients.  Institutions and investigators that belong to the GOG Foundation network are extremely important for the development of treatments and surgical procedures, for the quality of life analyses and prevention knowledge. The institution has support from industry and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to conduct trials and generate results that are shared with participating members, health professionals, patients, and their families. The GOG Foundation is focused on the advances in Oncology to benefit cancer patients.  LACOG has been working in partnership with the GOG Foundation, joining forces to support clinical studies. The aim of this partnership is to extend international cooperation to provide LACOG investigators the opportunity to participate in studies conducted worldwide.  Likewise, this partnership allows LACOG to expand its portfolio of clinical trials, which extends the opportunity for Latin-American patients to participate in clinical research with the most

Between November 15th and November 20th 2020, the London Global Cancer Week was held online. The event covered discussions of the impact of the increasing incidence of cancer in emerging countries. Some members from LACOG took part in the event, including Dr. Carlos Barrios, an oncologist for the Grupo Oncoclínicas and LACOG Executive Director, and Dr. Gustavo Werutsky, an oncologist at São Lucas Hospital at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul and LACOG Chair. One of the sessions, which was hosted by LACOG and SLACOM, was dedicated to discussing the current issues on adopting technology in Latin America. Dr. Barrios was the moderator, while Dr. Werutsky was one of the speakers. "We used this panel to discuss the current clinical research scenario and its importance in generating innovation in Latin America, the barriers to its development and implementation and the possible strategies to increase the number of studies in the region", explained Dr. Werutsky. In his presentation, he addressed the importance of clinical research and ways to raise funds. Dr. Barrios mentioned that the event also discussed strategies for recruiting patients, technology assessment, and also the growing importance of collecting and analyzing big data, which is currently revolutionizing many

Currently, the LACOG Gastrointestinal Cancer Group has two ongoing studies. The objective of these studies is to create databases of prognostic and predictive factors of patients with neuroendocrine tumors (LACOG 0119) and of patients with anal cancer (LACOG / GTG 1318 - CCA). Both studies are being conducted in partnership with the Gastrointestinal Tumors (GTG) Brazilian group.  According to Dr. Rachel Riechelmann, head of Clinical Oncology at the A.C.Camargo Cancer Center, president of the LACOG Gastrointestinal Cancer Group and principal investigator of LACOG 0119 and LACOG / GTG 1318 - CCA studies , these studies will help us to create an epidemiological database of two rare diseases. “Currently, there is no Brazilian or Latin American epidemiological data of neuroendocrine tumors and anal cancer. We have no information on what the most common histologic tumor subtype is, its prognosis, overall and progression-free survival rates in our region. Studies like these provide data regarding the characteristics of patient populations which help to define research strategies that are focused on these specific subgroups.”  Studies as the ones mentioned above would not be practicable without a partnership with LACOG which, according to Dr. Riechelmann, is the only collaborative research group in Latin America. “In fact, it

Latin America, as a region, has some particular characteristics when it comes to cancer treatment. In order to further the discussion on the issues surrounding neoplasms in Latin Americans, the book "Cancer Management in Latin America" has been released in two volumes. The first volume covers nasopharyngeal cancer to kidney cancer; the second discusses melanoma and the cost-effectiveness of treatments. This project was led by Dr. Maurício Fraga da Silva, the leading technician for the Radiation Oncology Service at the University Hospital of Santa Maria (Rio Grande do Sul), supported by Dr. Gustavo Nader Marta, a radiation oncologist at the Radiotherapy Department of the Sírio-Libanês Hospital (São Paulo) and Dr. Beatriz Amendola, a radiation oncologist at the Innovative Cancer Institute, in Miami, in the United States.  According to Dr. da Silva, it is probably the first book on cancer with special emphasis on Latin America, written by authors from different countries and distributed worldwide. "The contents will help with a better diagnosis and treatment of cancer by increasing readers’ understanding of neoplasms, especially in relation to the particular characteristics inherent in this region.” According to Dr. Marta, "the focus on Latin America means that we can give readers information on managing cancer