U.S. scientists hold talks with AIMS for research on breast cancer

Scientists from the New York University School of Medicine are here for preliminary talks with the Amrita Cancer Institute at the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS) for collaboration on world-wide research on breast cancer.
In a project promoted by the New York University, three other centres apart from New York have been identified for a multi-disciplinary study on advanced breast cancer. Cape Town in South Africa, Mexico City, Mexico and Kochi were listed as study centres considering the increased number of breast cancers reported from these places.
Paolo Toniolo, Director of the Division of Epidemiology in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, who is involved in studying the role of hormones and nutrition in cancers in women, especially in the breast, will be heading the medical team in the study.
"We have the study in two parts. One is to identify the biological reasons as to why some women respond well to treatment even in advanced stages of breast cancer, while some do not respond even in the early stages. A clue in this regard will help modify the treatment of cancer according to the ability of the patient's response," said Prof. Toniolo.
The second part of the study is the socio-cultural and biological factors related to the diagnosis of breast cancer. Kristin Bright is the overall programme coordinator for the research project at the University in collecting data on the international level from the three outside centres.
"My job is to document social, cultural and economic factors influencing the late diagnosis of breast cancer in women. It may be fear, poverty, ignorance or the last priority that a woman gets in a household. Or it may be a combination of all factors", said Prof. Bright, who is a medical anthropologist.
A study would help the oncologists and the public health authorities to intervene in the right manner to check cancers of breast, which are being increasingly reported in developing countries, said Prof. Toniolo. The U.S. has the largest number of cases of breast cancer, he added.
From various studies taken up in different parts of the world, it is now known that the increase in breast cancer is because of change in lifestyle, said Prof. Toniolo. The genetic factors play only a 10 per cent role, he said. The rest are factors related to environmental and lifestyle changes, he added.
The socio-cultural background is essential here since it is a lifestyle disease. Prof. Bright will be preparing the questionnaire after interacting with patients and will be modifying the questions to suit the cultural demand.

About AIMS (Amritha Institute of Medical Science)

Healthcare with a Heart: AIMS founder, Sri Mata Amritananadamayi (known as Amma), envisioned creating a not-for-profit top hospital in Kerala, India where the poor could have access to advanced medical care in an atmosphere of love and compassion. AIMS is now a world -class institution of medicine, academics, and research.

Address :

Aims Hospital
Amrita Lane,Elamakkara P.O., Kochi, Kerala, India
Year Established: 1998


source : http://www.hindu.com/2005/08/08/stories/2005080816820300.htm

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