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Shanghai CDC and Hutchinson Center establish Shanghai Breast Health Resource Center

SEATTLE The Shanghai Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Shanghai CDC) and the Breast Health Global Initiative (BHGI), headquartered at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, jointly will establish the Shanghai Breast Health Resource Center as BHGI's first "learning laboratory" in China. The project is a result of the two organizations formalizing their ongoing relationship by signing a collaboration agreement.

It marks the first such agreement between the Shanghai CDC and a U.S. cancer research center.

Through this agreement, the Shanghai CDC and its partners will work with the BHGI on projects related to cancer control and will provide a comprehensive assessment of breast cancer early detection for the population of Shanghai and the region.

The first project of the Shanghai Breast Health Resource Center, organized as a BHGI Learning Laboratory, will be an evaluation of the effectiveness of clinical breast exam (breast exam performed by a qualified health professional) for breast cancer early detection, based upon breast cancer screening conducted in Shanghai.

BHGI developed the concept of learning laboratories to define the essential science-based clinical elements for breast cancer care programs for low- and middle-resource countries through global collaborations.

"This agreement is an affirmation of the importance that the Hutchinson Center places upon designing programs to impact the prevention, early diagnosis and improved treatment of cancer among medically underserved people around the world," said Larry Corey, M.D, Hutchinson Center president and director. Last October, the Center and the China CDC signed an agreement to provide a framework for scientific research and training projects in the prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer, infectious diseases and other related health concerns in China.

Breast cancer mortality has nearly doubled during the past 30 years in China, according to Chinese health officials.

In Shanghai, the rate of breast cancer increased 138 percent during past 30 years, and among the newly diagnosed breast cancer cases, early stage disease accounts for about 34 percent, which is about 10 percent lower than that in U.S., according to Ying Zheng, M.D., head of the Department of Cancer Prevention and Control at the Shanghai CDC.

"Although there is not enough data from research or cancer registries nationwide, existing data suggest that the rise of China's breast cancer mortality rate is caused mainly by the rapid increase in incidence and late stage of diagnosis," said Ying.

"This groundbreaking agreement enables unique research collaborations in the critical area of breast cancer, which can serve as a model for development of comprehensive cancer prevention and control and building the capacity of multidisciplinary cancer prevention and treatment in China," said Benjamin O. Anderson, M.D., BHGI chair and director.

Linking the BHGI and other Hutchinson Center scientists and programs with the Shanghai CDC's programs will provide major advantages both to the U.S. and Chinese research communities by defining and resource-appropriate solutions for breast cancer care programs for China, according to Anderson, who is a researcher in the Hutchinson Center's Public Health Sciences Division and director of Seattle Cancer Care Alliance's Breast Health Clinic.

"The prevention, early detection and multidisciplinary treatment of breast cancer are important strategies for promoting health and extending a healthy life span," said Shanghai CDC Director Wu Fan, M.D. "The agreement to establish the Shanghai Breast Health Resource Center is an important step in effectively addressing breast cancer, especially to improving breast cancer screening and early detection, which are considered to be the most effective and affordable ways for a rapid reduction of breast cancer disease burden in developing countries like China."

BHGI, co-sponsored by the Hutchinson Center and Susan G. Komen for the Cure, pioneered development of comprehensive resource-sensitive, evidence based clinical guidelines for international breast health and cancer control to improve breast cancer outcomes in low- and middle-resource countries through the collaboration of an alliance of dedicated organizations and individuals.

This isn't the first time that Hutchinson Center research has focused on breast cancer in Shanghai. The results of a 12-year-long, landmark study among 267,000 female textile workers, published in 2003, found that women who received intensive instruction in breast self-exam suffered no fewer deaths from breast cancer than women who did not. The study's lead researcher, David Thomas, M.D., is a senior adviser to the BHGI.


Contact: Dean Forbes
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

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