Mark Parascandola, M.D., Ph.D., from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) visited the Medical University of Gdańsk on 22 June at the invitation of Dr. Habil. Łukasz Balwicki, Assoc. Prof., Head of the Division of Public Health & Social Medicine of the MUG and one of the coordinators of Research Team IX Cancer prevention and early detection Priority Research Area 1. The foreign expert took part in a meeting of Team IX and also discussed opportunities for collaboration with researchers from the Department of Prevention and Didactics, the Department of Thoracic Surgery, and the Department of Public Health and Social Medicine.
The meeting was officially opened by Professor Łukasz Balwicki, the initiator of the event. He introduced the profile of Parascandola, Ph.D. to those gathered and encouraged active participation in the discussion. The floor was then taken by Prof Witold Rzyman, Head of the Department of Thoracic Surgery of the MUG who, at Prof. Balwicki’s request, presented the implementation of the nationwide pilot programme on Early Detection of Lung Cancer.
Parascandola, Ph.D. in his presentation entitled Population strategies for cancer prevention – focus on tobacco control, discussed the main scientific and teaching objectives guiding the NCI.
The description of the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) programme, which has been running in the USA since 1973, made a positive impression on the audience. SEER currently collects and publishes cancer incidence and survival data from population-based cancer registries across the country. The SEER programme is the only comprehensive source of population-based information in the US that includes cancer stage at diagnosis and patient survival data.
Another programme discussed was the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS), through which the NCI has been learning about public attitudes and the prevalence of cancer prevention knowledge for 20 years.
Anti-tobacco campaigns and programmes commonly introduced in the United States were also presented. At the end of the presentation, Parascandola, Ph.D. responded to a question about the difficulties encountered in applying effective cancer prevention.
Doctor Parascandola’s lecture was followed by a lively discussion in which most of those present spoke. Methods of cancer prevention in Poland and worldwide were compared, and the prospect of the number of smokers decreasing in the coming years was considered. Prof. Jacek Jassem from the Department of Oncology & Radiotherapy at the Medical University of Gdańsk, leader of the Priority Research Area Oncology, and Prof. Tomasz Zdrojewski, Head of the Department of Prevention and Didactics at the Medical University of Gdańsk, coordinator of Team I Epidemiology and registries in the Priority Research Area Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine, spoke in the discussion on the implementation of screening tests.
photo. Paweł Sudara/MUG