IARC Monograph on Risks of Tobacco Smoke
In May 2004, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organization, published Volume 83 of the IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans. Totaling nearly 1,500 pages, "Tobacco Smoke and Involuntary Smoking" summarized the evidence for the carcinogenicity of tobacco smoke. While the conclusions confirm the cancer-causing effects of active smoking, this volume also concludes its evaluation of the risks associated with second-hand smoking and classifies second-hand smoke as carcinogenic to humans.
The IARC Monographs Program publishes independent assessments of carcinogenic risks by a variety of agents, mixtures, and/or exposures. Each assessment is carried out by a working group of international experts who review all published evidence relating to the particular agent. The working group is also charged with indicating where additional research efforts are needed. Since its inception in 1969, the program has reviewed more than 880 agents, and the monographs have become widely used around the world, owing to their thoroughness and accuracy. Since its beginning, the IARC Monographs Program has been supported by NCI; the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences has provided additional support since 1993.
At its fifth annual meeting, held October 2-5 in Cairo, Egypt, the International Network for Cancer Treatment and Research (INCTR) recognized two researchers - one from a developing nation and the other from a resource-rich nation - for their contributions to cancer control.
The Nazli Gad el-Mawla Award, named for a pioneering female Egyptian oncologist, was presented to Dr. Mahmoud M. Mahfouz of Egypt, who served as chairman of the Kasr Al-Ainy Center of Radiation Oncology and Nuclear Medicine at Cairo University, where he was involved in the training and supervision of more than 185 postgraduates for their master's and medical degrees.
The second award - named for Paul Carbone, a groundbreaking American oncologist who, as the associate director for clinical oncology at NCI, played a critical role in the development of cancer chemotherapy - was given to Dr. Franco Cavalli, who has headed the Division of Oncology at the Ospedale San Giovanni in Bellinzona, Switzerland since 1978 and has made notable contributions to cancer care in Central America.
Hundreds of health care providers and researchers from more than 50 countries attended the meeting, including a delegation of 25 physicians from Iraq. In addition to oral and poster presentations given by individual researchers, representatives from the World Health Organization, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the African Organization on Research and Training in Cancer, the International Union Against Cancer, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and NCI also participated in the event. Next year's meeting is scheduled for December in Chennai, India.
INCTR is a nonprofit organization, headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, that provides cancer prevention and treatment strategies to developing countries, helps those countries build a research and clinical infrastructure, and facilitates international collaboration between physicians and scientists. NCI's OIA provides support to INCTR, and NCI's Dr. Ian Magrath serves as its president. More information about INCTR can be found at http://www.inctr.org.