N° 169
19 May 2006 

At its meeting on the 18th May 2006, the Governing Council of the International Agency for Research on Cancer officially greeted the Republic of India and the Republic of Korea as its 17th and 18th Participating States.

"Cancer is increasingly a global issue", said Dr Boyle, Director of the Agency. "In stark contrast to the situation when IARC was formed (in 1965), the majority of new cases of cancer now arise in low- and medium-resource countries. Such countries are faced with the double threat of a rapidly increasing burden of chronic disease, including cancer, against a background of high rates of communicable disease."

India has a long tradition in cancer research and has made important investments in recent times in cancer research and biotechnology. The population of India is growing and ageing and, consequently, even if the risk of cancer remains constant (which may not be the case) there will be large increases in the numbers of cases of cancer in the coming years. Effective cancer prevention is a top priority at the present time.

As for the Republic of Korea, it has experienced a rapid economic and social development and cancer research and treatment has evolved rapidly. The National Cancer Centre in Seoul is a mix of excellent clinicians and researchers and the country continues to make important investments in cancer.

"Both countries are expected to make a significant scientific contribution to global cancer research in joining the World Health Organization cancer research Agency, as we need to identify and apply cost-effective, culturally acceptable and innovative measures to cancer prevention in diverse low- to medium-resource settings," declared Dr Boyle.

"The adhesion of India and Korea represents a milestone in the continual development of this Agency with countries which were medium- or low-resource in the recent past now joining the IARC and taking a role in establishing the priorities in cancer research world-wide", Dr Boyle concluded.

More information about IARC, please contact Dr Gaudin, Head, Communications Group, at   .

World Health Organization
International Agency for Research on Cancer

Organisation mondiale de la Santé
Centre international de Recherche sur le Cancer

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