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IAEA Conference to Focus on New Techniques in Cancer Treatment

21 April 2009 |

About 400 cancer therapy specialists from 100 countries (96 IAEA Member States, 4 non-Member States) will meet next week in Vienna at an IAEA event to discuss modern techniques in radiation treatment of cancer.

The three-day International Conference on Advances in Radiation Oncology (ICARO) will start on Monday, 27 April, in the new Conference Building M of the Vienna International Center.

All sessions of the event are open to the media.

Radiotherapy will be the main focus of the Conference, as it remains one of the most commonly used methods of cancer treatment. ICARO will concentrate on implementation of modern treatment techniques, which improve the chance of cancer cure whilst reducing the risk of serious side effects and complications.

ICARO will include many participants from low and middle-income countries, which are often under represented in such venues. A total of 24 major national and international organizations in the field of radiation oncology will also take part in the conference.

More information and the programme of the Conference is available on http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/Meetings/Announcements.asp?ConfID=35265.

Journalists wishing to cover the event can register online or e-mail Al Sinoy or call [43-1] 2600-21276.

Individual interviews can be arranged through IAEA Press Office.

Conference Background

The IAEA has a central and pivotal role in convening this meeting as a unique international forum which enables both the developed and developing countries to impact and improve the care of cancer patients by sharing and learning from each other´s experience.

Cancer is rapidly becoming a major health problem globally, both in developed and developing countries. Despite the increase in the number of cancer patients, advanced treatments are expensive and the resources available in health care are limited. Although a cancer itself is a global issue, its management is especially critical in developing countries, which are in the process of developing strategies and programmes for treating cancer.

The main focus of the ICARO meeting will be radiotherapy, which is one of the most commonly used methods of cancer treatment. Radiotherapy has also a crucial role in reducing the symptoms of cancer, such as pain, and in improving the quality of life of cancer sufferers who cannot be cured. It is an important and cost-effective component of cancer management, but requires sophisticated equipment and highly trained personnel.

Acquiring new technology and implementing it can be expensive both in terms of improving infrastructure and training of human resources needed to support it. There will never be an over-abundance of resources to support acquiring new technology, so a broad perspective strategy for implementing the technology is essential for assessing its impact.

The Conference will also discuss the requirements of advanced technologies in terms of training and equipment and their applicability in different environments.

The IAEA has a central role in ensuring quality in cancer treatment by providing a globally relevant strategy which is aimed at all patients receiving the best possible treatment, whether for cure or palliation.

For more than 40 years, the IAEA has built radiotherapy capacity for cancer treatment in developing countries. Currently the IAEA provides expertise to 122 radiotherapy projects, 109 national and 13 regional. This meeting will provide a future catalyst for improving training programmes to match the requirements of the advanced technology around the world.

The IAEA´s Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT) was established in 2004 to improve cancer survival in developing countries by integrating radiotherapy investments into public health systems. PACT works in partnership with WHO, The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), International Network for Cancer Treatment and Research (INCTR) and others. One of PACT´s key focus areas in developing countries is expanding access to palliative radiotherapy for cancer patients. The success of PACT and its ongoing role in alleviating the suffering of cancer patients in deprived economies will also be discussed at ICARO.

Related Resources:

» Conference Information » Developing Strategies for Cancer Care, 27 April 2009 » Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT)