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9th Annual Symposium on Global Cancer Research: Focus on Resilience and Equity at CGH Flagship Meeting

, by Mishka Kohli Cira, MPH

Special Issue of AACR’s Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention journal featuring the 9th Annual Symposium on Global Cancer Research (ASGCR).

This month we are excited to share the publication of a special issue of AACR’s Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention featuring the 9th Annual Symposium on Global Cancer Research (ASGCR). A  commentary provided by the ASGCR Scientific Steering Committee describes the planning, program highlights, and key takeaways from the first virtual ASGCR, held March 10-11, 2021. ASGCR is the longest-running satellite meeting to the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) Annual Conference and one of the longest-running, largest scientific meetings dedicated to global cancer research and control. In addition, the publication features 98 scientific abstracts sharing cancer research conducted in 68 countries by investigators from 25 countries.

The planning for the 9th ASGCR started in mid-2020 when CGH convened the first meeting of the Scientific Steering Committee*. For me, as coordinator of the Steering Committee, the first meeting is the most exciting. I’m thrilled that participating experts from NCI Designated Cancer Centers and partner organizations are willing to share their time and insights to work with NCI to design a timely and responsive scientific program to engage the global cancer research and control community. For this year’s program, the Committee established that we needed to address the disruptive force of the  COVID-19 pandemic on global cancer research and control, and the responsibility of the global cancer community to respond in earnest to the push for racial justice. Thus, the focus areas of building toward resilient health systems and equity in global cancer research were born. Themes which you can read further about in the AACR special issue.

Convening diverse groups both for planning and for participating in global cancer scientific meetings like ASGCR allows for bi-directional knowledge exchange and an opportunity to learn from different viewpoints within the community. CGH has always recognized the value of serving as a convener and maintaining and strengthening partnerships within NCI and globally to create opportunities for the exchange of scientific knowledge in cancer research and control. And now, convening activities like the ASGCR, Project ECHO, the Global Cancer Research and Control Seminar Series, and others are concretely outlined within our first strategic plan which was published in May of this year.

Looking ahead to the 10th ASGCR in 2022 and in line with the values of impact, equity, and collaboration outlined in our strategic plan, we will expand what we started this year by ensuring equal representation by LMIC collaborators on the Scientific Steering committee. We also aim to build on the more inclusive nature of the ASGCR by continuing to host the event as a virtual meeting, which has significantly expanded the meeting's reach, particularly for first-time international attendees. So, get ready to join us from wherever you are in 2022. Look out for the call for abstracts in the coming months. And in the meantime, stay up to date on other CGH highlights by joining our mailing list.

*9th ASGCR Steering Committee
Aga Khan University Hospital, Kenya
American Association for Cancer Research
American Society of Clinical Oncology
Consortium of Universities for Global Health
Dan L. Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine
Ministry of Health/Maputo Central Hospital, Republic of Mozambique
Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Tulane Health Offices for Latin America, Peru

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