China And Britain To Collaborate On Cancer Studies
UK – Collaboration between two of China’s largest cancer study centres and Cardiff University could lead to important advances in cancer therapy. A cancer researcher Professor Wen Jiang, who qualified in China and has worked in Wales for seventeen years, assisted in arranging the strategy between Cardiff’s School of Medicine, Peking University and Beijing’s Capital Medical University, which will see studies undertaken of cancer differences between the two countries.
Prof Jiang believes that the joint initiative will bring together best practice and aid in a better understanding of cancer, by making comparisons of the differences in the disorders Chinese and British patients suffer. He stresses many of the significant changes are related to lifestyle choices, and in these areas Chinese figures are moving nearer to western statistics as the Chinese economy moves toward greater prosperity.
China’s illustrious record in the training of highly-skilled surgeons to a remarkable standard in current procedures can be further enhanced by Britain’s advanced research techniques and theoretical know-how into cancer which Cardiff is in a position to pass on.
Prof Jiang believes the differences between the most common types of cancer found in Britain and China could prove the most valuable and telling part of the joint research. He cites the instances of lung and bowel cancer now creeping up toward the British levels as more Chinese take up smoking and more are able to afford red meat.
Some variations are more difficult to interpret and Prof Jiang is aware these necessitate further joint examination, such as breast cancer cases in China, which are a quarter to a third of British levels. Stomach and liver cancer, which have a greater prevalence in China, suggest that the discrepancy cannot be attributed solely to lifestyle, therefore underlying genetic factors require investigation.
To recognise this joint project, Peking University has bestowed honorary professorships on Professor Jiang and Professor Sir Martin Evans of Cardiff University. Sir Martin received the 2007 Nobel Prize winner for Medicine for his discovery of the properties of stem cells.
Success coming from this joint research into cancer could lead to it being extended to involve other medical disciplines, such as neurology, infectious and immunological diseases, dentistry, nursing and tissue repair.