Centre of Integrative Oncology inaugurated to help develop integrated approach to cancer prevention and management

The Centre of Integrative Oncology (CIO) was inaugurated today at the National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research (NICPR) at Noida on the eve of world Cancer Day (4th February). The Centre was inaugurated by Dr. Saumya Swaminathan, Secretary, Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare & Director General, Indian Council for Medical Research and Shri Ajit M. Sharan, Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH in the presence of Prof. Ravi Mehrotra, Director, NICPR-ICMR.

Addressing the inaugural session, Shri Sharan said that the first idea about collaboration between AYUSH and NICPR was given by a team of scientists from USA. This collaboration will definitely lead to development of novel drugs for cancer prevention and management. Shri Sharan further informed that 5 Senior Research Fellowships and 5 Post-doctoral fellowships will be released every year (in both modern medicine and Ayurveda) to facilitate quality research in the country in the area of cancer research.

Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, added that Bridge courses will be introduced for the practitioners who will be working in Centers of integrative medicine. She said, evaluation of risk factors for cancer should be thoroughly done, especially focusing on dietary risk factors. Dr. Soumya Swaminathan gave thrust on extensive research of natural systems of medicine since they follow a holistic approach, unlike the allopathic one.

The main objective of the Centre is to build collaborations in the areas of cancer prevention, research and care in an integrated approach involving both modern and traditional medicine. This would pave the way to carry forward the ongoing bilateral dialogue and facilitate collaboration with stake holders, both national and international, like National Cancer Institute, USA. The setting up of this Centre is an outcome of the deliberations held in Indo-US Workshop on 3-4th March 2016 organized by Ministry of AYUSH, where the invited US delegates from Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute of Health, National Cancer Institute deliberated with the eminent experts from India with expertise in Cancer research and other promising areas for two days to share experiences and work out a road map for future collaborations. The Centre would be the clearing house for information for AYUSH projects on cancer research and management. Prof. Abhimanyu Kumar, Director, All India Institute of Ayurveda along with eminent cancer specialists including Prof. G. K Rath (AIIMS, New Delhi), Dr. Preetha Rajaraman (US-NCI), Bhawana Sirohi (London), and Dr D. C Katoch (AYUSH) were also present on this occasion.