On Friday, 4 February, the Asian Fund for Cancer Research proudly continues our tradition of recognizing
World Cancer Day. Once again, we join over one thousand organizations throughout the globe on this date in speaking as one voice to raise cancer awareness.
AFCR is a proud member of the Union for International Cancer Control, which since February 4, 2000, upon the occasion of the World Summit Against Cancer, has helped organizations mobilize the global community to make progress against cancer.
World Cancer Day’s three-year “Close the Care Gap” campaign begins this year and extends through to 2024, with the 2022 annual theme being “Realizing the Care Gap.”
Realization of a problem is the first important step in addressing it. And two essential roles AFCR plays throughout the Asia-Pacific are realizing and closing the KNOWLEDGE GAP and the FUNDING GAP of cancer research.
AFCR is closing and realizing the KNOWLEDGE GAP. Gone are the days of the “one-size fits all” approach to cancer treatment. Instead, doctors are beginning to administer treatments based on the needs of each individual person, their genetic information, health history and specific conditions.
- The Tissue Bank Consortium in Asia, co-organized by AFCR, identified common genetic mutations in gastric cancer, which is particularly prevalent in countries such as China, Japan, South Korea and Singapore.
- AFCR-funded research has sought to assess if the prevalence—and thus risk—of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer is similar in Mainland China and Hong Kong as it is in the West.
- Esophageal cancer is an all-too-common disease in China and elsewhere throughout Asia, and an AFCR-supported research-oncology study is exploring a potentially effective, inexpensive and preferred method of diagnosis over the current standard.
AFCR is closing and realizing the FUNDING GAP. Too few resources are being provided to support world-class cancer scientists and research oncologists in Asia and those researching forms of the disease most highly prevalent within Asian populations—geographically and ethnically. This, despite the disease causing over 5.2 million deaths annually across the continent.
- By dedicating resources across all three phases of cancer research—basic, translational and clinical—AFCR is ensuring impact across the full continuum of discovery, application and new treatments and earlier diagnoses for patients.
- AFCR’s recent launch of programming which invests in early stage oncology technology companies that are deemed too risky by even the highly risk-tolerant venture capital community is an example of us addressing an urgent unmet need.
- AFCR’s pursuit of partnerships with multiple like-minded organizations, including peer charities, industry associations, companies, research centers and hospitals, means efficient use of research and education resources and amplification of program results.