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U.S. and Peru Formalize Alliance in Cancer Research

, by Diana Mendoza-Cervantes

From left to right: Peru’s Ambassador to the United States Dr. Luis Miguel Castilla, NCI Acting Director Dr. Douglas Lowy, INEN Institutional Head Dr. Tatiana Vidaurre, and INEN Chief of Regulations and Quality Assurance Dr. Roxana Regalado.

Credit: National Cancer Institute

Last Thursday, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Center for Global Health (CGH) had the pleasure of welcoming a delegation of health officials from the Government of Peru for the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the U.S. and Peru. The agreement strengthens relations between the two countries, and provides a framework for knowledge exchange and support for cancer research.

NCI Acting Director Dr. Douglas Lowy, Peru’s Ambassador to the United States Dr. Luis Miguel Castilla, and Institutional Head Dr. Tatiana Vidaurre and Chief of Regulations and Quality Assurance Dr. Roxana Regalado, both from the National Institute of Neoplastic Diseases of Peru (Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Neoplasicas, INEN), attended the event.

“Cancer affects communities all across the globe,” said Dr. Lowy. “NCI is working to strengthen our global network of cancer researchers and control experts, and we are honored to partner with Peru today. This partnership is an important step to expand cancer research, share best practices, and improve health.” 

Joining the delegation was Dr. Elmer Huerta a Peruvian native who has dedicated his career to spreading the word about cancer prevention to Latinos in Washington, D.C. as well as Latin America. His work with various forms of media underscores the need to have the public ear in spreading key messages, both to general and vulnerable communities.

Although the National Institutes of Health and NCI have worked with Peru for many years, the partnership stemming from the MOU, spurred by various events as part of the growing momentum for cancer control in Peru, can serve as an example in the region. Many leaders have been a part of this movement in Peru resulting in the creation and implementation of the national cancer plan—Plan Esperanza (Hope Plan). The initiative of Ambassador Castilla, as he expressed his interests during his visit earlier this year (read more), demonstrates how global health diplomacy, political will, and scientific research can come together as a united front to reduce the cancer burden worldwide.

After signing the MOU, the delegation met with NCI experts to discuss the framework. Topics included; cancer research, specifically HPV vaccination and diagnostics, surveillance and registries, epidemiology, telemedicine, communications, dissemination of research findings, implementation science, and tobacco control. The day concluded with a presentation by Dr. Vidaurre of the current state of cancer in Peru and INEN’s efforts moving forward.

With a shared vision solidified in this agreement, both countries and institutions can look forward to working from a framework to develop fruitful cooperation, and broaden the scope of joint research activities and academic exchanges.  

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