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Apollo Hospitals in association with CURE Foundation India hosted the 5th edition of Apollo Cancer Conclave and the 8th Edition of the Cancer CI – 2020 in Hyderabad

Date: 27 Feb 20

Continuing the concerted efforts towards fighting cancer, Apollo Hospitals and the CURE Foundation India, hosted the 5th edition of Apollo Cancer Conclave (ACC) and the 8th edition of the Cancer CI 2020, an international conference aimed at improving cancer management in India and abroad. The conference was held from 13th to 16th February 2020. The forum of International repute witnessed the participation of over 3700 delegates including 60 from overseas and over 600 faculty including 31 top notch International Guest Speakers, eminent researchers and medical practitioners.

Dr. P Vijay Anand Reddy, Director, Apollo Cancer Institutes, Hyderabad and Chairman, Org. Committee - CANCER CI – 2020; Dr Stefan Glueck, Medical Oncology, Summit, NJ, USA; Dr Steven H. Lin, Radiation Oncology, Houston, TX, USA; Dr Sangeeta Kakoti, Nuclear Medicine, Gunma, Japan; Dr S.V.S.S. Prasad, Medical Oncology, ACI, Hyderabad; Dr M. Vamshi Krishna, Medical Oncology, ACI, Hyderabad; Dr Sayan Paul, Radiation Oncology, ACI, Hyderabad; Dr T.P.S. Bhandari, Surgical Oncology, ACI, Hyderabad; Dr Chinnababu, Surgical Oncology, ACI, Hyderabad and Dr Hemant Udayaraju, Surgical Oncology, ACI, Hyderabad; briefed the media at a Press Conference and said, The Conclave provides a platform to deliberate on cancer management through panel discussions, interactive sessions and debates, all organised with a view to encourage a multi-modality approach in cancer care.

The Conference was inaugurated by Dr (Smt) Tamilisai Soundararajan, Hon'ble Governor of Telangana; on Febraury 14th, 2020. Shri Etela Rajender, Minister for Medical & Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of Telangana; Dr Prathap C. Reddy, Chairman, Apollo Hospitals Group and Ms Preetha Reddy, Vice Chairperson, Apollo Hospitals were also present on the occasion.

The Conclave held a special significance, as the country has witnessed a rising incidence of cancer. India witnesses about 1.2 to 1.5 million new cancer cases every year and this is expected to double in 20 years, which is unsettling. As per WHO guidelines, one cancer centre is required for every 1 million populations. However, in a country like India, with a population of 1.25 billion, there are only 400 units. Both the private sector and the government must work together to set up more than 2000 Cancer Centres to strengthen the country’s competence and capacity to manage and combat the disease. In the interim, in order to be one up the battle against the disease, updating care providers with global intelligence and adequate technology is a requisite and has gained importance.

Dr Vijay Anand Reddy said, “In the last few decades cancer care has transited at phenomenally rapid pace from broad based Cancer management to exceedingly precise personalized treatment. Thereby the trauma cancer patients had to endure has been significantly reduced, recovery is speedy and the survival rate has significantly improved. In this dynamically evolving field of Oncology, the practicing Oncologists need to keep abreast with the developments and this Conclave will be immensely beneficial.”

Dr Stefan Glueck said, “Through Immunotherapy, we identified molecular targets and developed molecular drugs against these targets. We basically activate our immune system through this therapy, so that the patient's own immune system fights against cancer. We are not doing anything against cancer, we are only reactivating the immune system. It has its own set of problems, like not every tumour responds to immunotherapy, there are many reasons for that. The major difference for patients treated through immunotherapy is, there is a smaller significant number of patients, like stage 4 patients who usually would die are now surviving by 8 to 12 years. Almost 50% of patients in such conditions are surviving years after suffering from cancer.” 

Dr Steven H. Lin said, “Earlier we used to treat all the patients of lung cancer with the same drugs, but of late we have realized that all patients and their diseases are not alike, therefore are learning about molecular sub-types of lung cancer and now actually have details of each patient's molecular genetics profile and targeting each of those patients of lung cancer with different drugs. Immunotherapy has enhanced the cure rates of lung cancer in recent years. We are treating patients with stage 4 disease, who never survived earlier, but now they are getting cured. Now we understand the tumour and are activating the immune system by blocking certain molecules in the tumour. This way we are not only improving the efficacy but reducing the toxicity.” 

Dr Sangeeta Kakoti said, “I deal with carbon ion therapy which is right now practiced in limited centres, there are only 13 centres in the world which have this facility. The beauty of Carbon Ion or heavy ion radiation therapy is, it can treat patients who are in terminal stage, who cannot be operated, won't respond well to normal conventional radiotherapy, otherwise they would have been just sent home for supportive care. Such patients have shown excellent response through heavy ion therapy and their tumours have disappeared. This is a very strong weapon that we have against malignancy. In the last couple of years there have been very exciting developments in this sphere and in future with more research probably we can treat all patients with this.”

The Conclave emphasized on discovering newer horizons in Oncology treatment with special emphasis on Controversies & Management Guidelines. The renowned faculty unraveled several revelations in techniques and technology. A one-day workshop preceding the Conference on Thursday, 13th February 2020, was focused on New Avenues in Radiation Oncology, Robotic Surgery and BMT.

Global stalwarts in cancer care from US, UK, European countries, Japan & Singapore, including Dr Stefan Glueck, Medical Oncology, Summit, NJ, USA; Dr Steven H. Lin, Radiation Oncology, Houston, TX, USA; Dr Sangeeta Kakoti, Nuclear Medicine, Gunma, Japan; Dr Akila N. Viswanathan, Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences, Johns Hopkins Medicine, USA; Dr Ashwatha Narayana, Chair, Radiation Medicine, Northern Westchester Hospital, Hofstra University, Northwell, NY, USA; Dr Bora Tas, Director, Head of MR Linac (Unity), Turkey; Dr Farzan Siddiqui, Director, Head and Neck Radiation Oncology, Henry Ford Cancer Institute, Detroit, USA; Dr. Felicia Tan, Director, FeM Surgery, Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Singapore; Dr George R. Simon, Prof of Medicine and Oncology, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, USA; Dr Nori Dattatreyudu, Executive Vice Chairman, Dept. of Radiation Oncology, The New York - Presbyterian Hospital / Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, USA; Dr Rebecca Lynn Stone, Asst. Prof, Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center, Baltimore, MD, USA; were present in the Conclave. The Conference deliberated on the latest developments in the field of oncology including AI / Machine learning in Oncology; Adaptive Intelligence in Radiotherapy Planning, Innovations in Radiotherapy, to name a few.

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