Letter from the International Affairs Committee Chair: Reflections from the Committee Meeting

Letter from the International Affairs Committee Chair: Reflections from the Committee Meeting

International Perspectives

Sep 23, 2014

By Yun Yen, MD, PhD, City of Hope

For the past three months it has been my privilege to serve as the Chair of ASCO’s International Affairs Committee (IAC).  As most of you know, the IAC is composed of ASCO members from around the world (Ghana, Russia, Brazil, South Africa, and the United Kingdom are just a few of the countries represented) who advise ASCO on its international activities and policies.  Always a vibrant committee, the IAC has been especially active over the past several years as ASCO has made concerted efforts to enhance its global impact.  The launch of ASCO International in 2013 exemplifies this trend.

Earlier this month the IAC held a two-day meeting at ASCO Headquarters, and a key theme from the deliberations was ASCO’s role in improving the quality of cancer care globally.  Under ASCO International, ASCO works with partner organizations around the world to deliver training in multidisciplinary care and deploys ASCO member volunteers to hospitals in low- and middle-income countries to enhance care capacity and quality, drawing on other ASCO programs and products.

The next stage is to better link ASCO’s other quality tools and resources with these efforts.  As one example, we discussed efforts to make ASCO’s long-standing Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®) available outside the United States.  These are key steps to making ASCO truly “global” and improving care quality around the world.

On behalf of the IAC, we look forward to your views and recommendations in this regard.

Yun Yen, MD, PhD, holds the Dr. & Mrs. Allen Y. Chao Chair in Developmental Cancer Therapeutics. He is professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular Pharmacology. He also co-leads the Developmental Cancer Therapeutics Program and serves as associate director for translational research at City of Hope’s comprehensive cancer center.  As a highly experienced clinician, clinical investigator and basic scientist, Dr. Yen’s research interests focus on proteins linked to liver cancer, as well as developing investigational therapies for advanced-stage disease. His studies have led to the development of a potential new drug targeting the enzyme ribonucleotide reductase. The drug candidate will be the first produced in City of Hope’s newest drug manufacturing facility for use in phase I clinical studies.



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