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Beijing conference to address lung cancer crisis in China

The first international lung cancer conference to be held in China will take researchers to Beijing October 27-30. UCSF, in collaboration with the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, is sponsoring the event.

UCSF researchers will be presenting their work on targeted therapies, genomics and other leading-edge science. The conference is designed to educate the medical community both in China and worldwide on the latest available therapies for patients with lung cancer.

Lung cancer is at epidemic proportions in China -- and the worst is yet to come, according to the World Health Organization, which has recently published The Tobacco Atlas. It is estimated that by 2025, two million Chinese men will die annually from smoking. Lung cancer currently kills 283,031 people in China each year. Although the rate for women is much lower, 61 percent of Chinese men over age 15 smoke.

"We will discuss the most sophisticated approaches to lung cancer in the world," said David Jablons, MD, UCSF associate professor of surgery and program leader of the UCSF Thoracic Oncology Program. "Both the scope of the problem and the barriers to care in China are dramatic, but we hope this conference can help rally the international scientific community to address the crisis." Jablons, who conducts translational research into targeted cancer therapies, is director of the UCSF Thoracic Oncology Laboratory.

Although innovations in treatment are necessary, "prevention is always the bottom line," Jablons said. One survey found that 60 percent of Chinese adults did not know smoking can cause lung cancer. Chinese efforts to educate the public are underfunded, he said, noting that one program the Chinese Association on Smoking and Health has a total annual budget of $3000. Cigarettes are both imported and domestically produced in China. For any manufacturer, China constitutes a huge market. It is estimated that one
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Contact: Eve Harris
eharris@pubaff.ucsf.edu
415-885-7277
University of California - San Francisco
23-Oct-2002


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