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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 1041

International twinning partnerships: Promoting cancer research and therapeutics in developing countries

1 Department of Prosthodontics, Faculty of Dental Sciences, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of Prosthodontics, Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, New Delhi, India

Date of Web Publication15-Feb-2016

Correspondence Address:
Himanshi Aggarwal
Room No. 404, E block, Gautam Buddha Hostel, King George's Medical University, Lucknow - 226 003, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-1482.146113

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How to cite this article:
Kumar P, Aggarwal H, Baslas V, Tomar B, Singh SV. International twinning partnerships: Promoting cancer research and therapeutics in developing countries. J Can Res Ther 2015;11:1041

How to cite this URL:
Kumar P, Aggarwal H, Baslas V, Tomar B, Singh SV. International twinning partnerships: Promoting cancer research and therapeutics in developing countries. J Can Res Ther [serial online] 2015 [cited 2020 Feb 22];11:1041. Available from: http://www.cancerjournal.net/text.asp?2015/11/4/1041/146113


Cancer has become a global health problem and it is through global efforts only, that this escalating problem can be effectively tackled. Most of the global cancer burden resides in the developing countries. The lack of awareness, scarcity of resources and infrastructure compounded with the lack of education and meagre numbers of well-trained oncologists are the major issues of concern for the developing countries. It has been long since the concept of global health emerged for the promotion of cancer research and therapeutics but still, there exists a huge disparity between the developing and the developed countries. One of the most effective ways to minimize this disparity is “International Twinning partnerships” in which a center from a developed country collaborates with another centre in a developing country.[1]

In 2008 Dr. Margaret Chan, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) stated that “The rise of cancer in less affluent countries is an impending disaster”.[2] With this statement, tackling the issue of the huge disparity that exists apropos the oncology status between the low/low-middle income countries (LICs/LMICs) and the high income countries (HICs) got highlighted and the already existing but less heeded concept of international twinning partnerships came into limelight as a way to effectively transfer expertise, skills and knowledge acquired in the HICs over the last few decades to try to improve; speed and accuracy of diagnosis, supportive care, delivery of therapy safely and to provide good palliation in LICs. The twinning model was pioneered by the St Jude Children's Research Hospital (Memphis, USA) International Outreach Group and by the Milan-Monza Group from Italy.[2]

Presently, most of the international twinning partnerships are dedicated towards pediatric oncology and the World Child Cancer, an international charity created in 2007, is playing a major role in this.[3] Since 2007 it has facilitated nine twinning partnerships (in Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Cameroon, Mexico, Colombia, Pacific Islands, The Philippines and Bangladesh) and it has recruited hospitals from UK, The Netherlands, USA, Canada, Singapore and South Africa to act as partners to the units in the resourced limited countries.[2]

This should form a model of co-operation not only between institutions but between countries, regions and associations and the co-operation could be at various levels from patient management to manpower training or even interchange of equipment and drugs between these institutions or donations or aids for the free treatment of cancer patients.[3] Such collaborations have been found to be effective in the treatment of childhood leukemia in Indonesia as well.[3]

Further progress can only be accomplished by applying existing cancer control knowledge across all segments of the global population, with an emphasis on those groups in the lowest socioeconomic bracket and other disadvantaged populations.[4] It is essentially through international twinning partnerships, that cancer research and therapeutics can be promoted in the developing countries.

 > References Top

Chirdan LB, Bode-Thomas F, Chirdan OO. Childhood cancers: Challenges and strategies for management in developing countries. Afr J Paediatr Surg 2009;6:126-30.  Back to cited text no. 1
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
Hopkins J, Burns E, Eden T. International twinning partnerships: An effective method of improving diagnosis, treatment and care for children with cancer in low-middle income countries. J Cancer Policy 2013;1:e8-19.  Back to cited text no. 2
World Child Cancer. Available from: www.worldchildcancer.org [Last accessed on 2014 Aug 20].  Back to cited text no. 3
Siegel R, Ma J, Zou Z, Jemal A. Cancer statistics, 2014. CA Cancer J Clin 2014;64:9-29.  Back to cited text no. 4


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