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News / 17 APRIL 2014

Belarusian oncologists’ society: pressing issues of target therapy in oncology

On April 7, 2014, the leading oncology institution in the Republic of Belarus, N. N. Alexandrov Republican Science and Practice Center of Oncology and Medical Radiology, hosted another regular session of Belarusian oncologist society dedicated to present-day problem of healthcare – pathology of head and neck neoplasms. Oncologists from all oncology healthcare facilities in Belarus participated in the meeting. The following speakers addressed the audience: Igor Vladimirovich Reshetov, associate of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, professor, Doctor of Medicine, head of oncology department including reconstructive and plastic surgery of the Moscow Hertzen Cancer Research Institute, Marina Alexandrovna Engibaryan – Candidate of Medical Science, head of the head and neck cancer of Rostov Oncology Institute, as well as Edward Antonovich Zhavrid, Doctor of Medicine, head of chemotherapy group at Alexandrov Republican Science and Practice Center of Oncology and Medical Radiology, Nikolay Borisovich Ermakov, Candidate of Medical Science, head of chemotherapy department of Alexandrov Republican Science and Practice Center of Oncology and Medical Radiology, Igor Valeryevich Belotserkovsky, Candidate of Medical Science, head of head and neck neoplasms at Alexandrov Republican Science and Practice Center of Oncology and Medical Radiology.

Speakers’ reports illustrated growth of head and neck neoplasm pathology in the Republic of Belarus which stipulates the urgency of this problem and necessity to review treatment approaches. It should be noted that as of today surgical treatment option of head and neck cancer have been developed in detail and implemented in the clinical practice. Therefore, Mr Zhavrid’s report that reflected up to date chemotherapeutic approaches to head and neck cancer treatment evoked great interest. In his report Mr Reshetov shed the light on the current condition of the oncological care in the Russian Federation, as well as early diagnostics of head and neck cancer. Mr Belotserkovsky in his speech announced the week of early diagnostics of head and neck cancer in Belarus scheduled for 22-26 September 2014, which is going to be held simultaneously with the same campaign in Europe. In his second report, professor Reshetov demonstrated results of the treatment of the patients suffering from inoperable H&N cancer with pre-operation chemotherapy treatment using target therapy drug – Cetuximab which allowed to transfer the patients from inoperable to operable phase of the disease. During discussion organization of oncology care in Russian Federation was touched on: issues of early diagnostics of H&N cancer with possibility to administer up-to-date target therapy. Ms Engibaryan’s report reflected the history of development of chemotherapeutic therapy of H&N cancer. Inclusion into treatment protocols requires efficacy evaluation of pharmaceuticals based on international studies data including large sample of patients and statistically reliable data on treatment outcomes. With that said, the advent of target therapy drugs for treatment of H&N cancer (cetuximab) became the first significant breakthrough in treatment of such pathology and helped prolong patients’ lives. Report was followed by a lively discussion amongst participants who in their comments emphasized the need for pharmacoeconomic evaluation of treatment using target therapy.

Summing up, Mr Ermakov emphasized that today modern target therapy medicines are not included in the republican treatment protocols for head and neck cancer therapy and that is why it is imperative to increase activities to reconsider inclusion of effective pharmaceuticals into national protocols.



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