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Developing Strategies for Cancer Care

IAEA Conference Puts Radiation Oncology Advances in Perspective for Developing Countries

This conference specifically seeks to address the needs of developing countries, examining the best technology to meet their specific health care needs. (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)

One size doesn´t fit all in cancer diagnosis and treatment. Machines that are heralded as breakthroughs in technological wizardry in developed countries may not be equally beneficial to patients in low and middle income states.

This is why more than 400 cancer therapy specialists from 100 countries are meeting this week in Vienna at an IAEA event to discuss modern techniques in radiation treatment and how to apply them in developing countries.

Major national and international organizations in the field of radiation oncology are also taking part in the conference.

"This event will benefit developing countries by putting things into perspective. Not everything that is popular in North America or Western Europe should be immediately adopted in low and middle income countries," says Eduardo Rosenblatt, a Radiation Oncologist in the IAEA´s Applied Radiation Biology and Radiotherapy Section.

"Many of the advances in radiation oncology that are unveiled at international fora every year are not only expensive but untried and sometimes even experimental. It´s more crucial for developing countries to understand which of the current treatments and approaches can be best applied considering the challenges they face, like limited human and financial resources," he says.

The three-day International Conference on Advances in Radiation Oncology (ICARO) which began today, promotes information sharing between low, middle and high income countries, so that cancer care can be improved in the long term.

Although cancer itself is a global issue, its management is especially critical in developing countries, which are in the process of developing specific strategies and programmes for treating cancer.

Last update: 27 July 2017