Vietnam specializes in cancer research

The V-CART cancer research and technology support program started on 12/12, supporting in-depth research on oncology in Vietnam.

The program is an initiative of National Cancer Institute and K Hospital, with the aim of supporting scientists to conduct high-quality research and build a rich and reliable database system in Vietnam.

“The program sets the stage for new steps in cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment,” Deputy Minister of Health Tran Van Thuan said at the kick-off ceremony, December morning.

Each year, V-CART program will select 20 excellent ideas. From January 2021, candidates can submit their research ideas to the National Cancer Research Institute. The quality committee then evaluates the idea and selects the most potential studies to support implementation. The author will receive professional advice and support from leading experts on cancer research in Vietnam and around the world.

Patients with esophageal cancer undergo laparoscopic surgery at K Hospital. Photo: Le Nga.

Each year, Vietnam records about 165,000 new cancer cases, 115,000 deaths. It is estimated that 40% of cancers are preventable, 30% can be cured if detected early and treated promptly.

Deputy Minister Thuan assessed that Vietnam has made many progress in diagnosis and treatment, but many cancers are still a big challenge. Lung and pancreatic cancer is classified in the group of cancers that are difficult to detect early. Most of the patients discovered the disease when it was in a late stage, the treatment did not make much sense.

Associate Professor Le Van Quang, Director of National K Hospital, said the number of patients coming for cancer examination and treatment has increased each year. The most common ones are lung, stomach, breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers. Notably, the trend of rejuvenation of cancer patients in Vietnam is very clear.

According to Mr. Quang, Vietnam always expects to set up a cancer map. Based on the epidemiological map, we can identify trends of cancers, from which there is a strategy for screening, early detection, and focusing on treatment to increase the rate of cure. However, there is currently no budget for synchronous implementation, the first breast cancer mapping will be forthcoming.

Hospital K is implementing three state-level studies on lung, pancreatic and oral cavity cancers. In addition, there are 5 ministry-level projects of research on other types of cancer.

Deputy Minister Thuan hopes that the program to support in-depth research on cancer for the first time in Vietnam will bring together domestic scientists. The program connects with the world to find effective methods for screening, early detection, early diagnosis, improving cure rate and quality of life for patients.

Le Nga