FK-KMK UGM. As a very complex multifactorial disease, unfortunately, cancer’s incidence have been increasing in the past few decades. A long list of major risk factors contributing has been made, such as genetics, epigenetics, environment, lifestyle, education, and awareness regarding cancer promotion and prevention. As research progresses, researchers have found a theory stating that cancer treatment may be more effective if the specific target involved in cancer progression can be identified. Therefore, the healing process will be faster and produce less side effects. The Department of Histology and Cell Biology FK-KMK UGM held an event titled “International Symposium on Cancer Biology: Opportunities for Research” as a prestigious scientific meeting discussing the subject. Held on August 24 – 25, 2018, the event was also a tribute for celebrating the 70th birthday of Prof. dr. Sofia Mubarika Haryana, MMedSc, Ph.D, a scientist and senior lecturer who has been contributing actively in cancer research in Indonesia.
Dewi Kartikawati Paramita, S.Si, M.Sc., Ph.D., as the chairman of the event stated that fundamental research on basic cancer biology would help us know the development of cancer by tracking gene changes and tumor cell interactions with their surrounding environment. From the process, we may find out the pathway or changes in gene that trigger rapid growth and spread of cancer cells. This can be used as a basis for determining specific targets of cancer therapy.
There are still many challenges related to research on non-invasive biomarkers, key genes in carcinogenesis, specific therapeutic applications, and many more. The symposium was plotted to be a media of communication among researchers and clinicians around the world to collaborate in improving competence. “This symposium can increase specific knowledge on mechanism of cancer treatment, diagnosis, and prevention”, said the Dean of FK-KMK UGM, Prof. dr. Ova Emilia, M.Med.Ed., Sp.OG (K)., Ph.D.
Prof. Lawrence S. Young from University of Warwick opened the symposium with his presentation titled ‘EBV and Cancer: what we have learned so far’. Then, Prof. Mubarika began her presentation titled ‘Cancer Research in Indonesia: we cannot do alone’ with a video screening about her research career. The event was continued with a session called ‘Dharmais Cancer Hospital as National Cancer Center in Indonesia’ represented by Dra. Lucia Rizka Andalucia, Apt.Pharm, MARS.
On the first day, the symposium presented three main topics, each followed by a discussion session. The first topic was about carcinogenesis presented by Floris Foijer, Ph.D from University Medical Center Groningen; Delvac Oceandy, MD, Ph.D from University of Manchester; Prof. Edy Meiyanto from Faculty of Pharmacy UGM; and Yap Lee Fah, Ph.D from University of Malaya. The second topic was about genetics and cancer, brought by Dewajani Purnomosari, Ph.D from FK-KMK UGM; Gerald Pals, Ph.D from VU University Medical Centre Amsterdam; and Ahmad Rusdan Handoyo Utomo, Ph.D from Kalbe Genomics Laboratory, Jakarta. The last topic about epigenetics and cancer was delivered by Sumadi Lukman Anwar, MD, Ph.D from FK-KMK and Oceandy.
Three other main topics were discussed on the second day, consisting of the development of cancer biomarker, cancer immunology and immunotherapy, and stem cell and cancer. New speakers were invited, such as Dr. Lim Chwee Ming from National University Hospital Singapore; Prof. Aru Wisaksono Sudoyo, MD from Universitas Indonesia; Indra Bachtiar, Ph.D from Stem Cell and Cancer Institute, Jakarta; and Prof. Chi-Tai Yeh from Taipei Medical University-Shuang Ho Hospital. Prior to the fifth session, Prof. dr. Yati Soenarto S, Sp.A(K).,Ph.D delivered material about ‘Research Ethics and Patient Safety’.
In addition to the discussions above, ISCB 2018 also received 17 submitted poster to be displayed at the lobby of FK-KMK UGM auditorium. A total of 13 titles of oral presentations were described by researchers from various educational institutions.
As explained by Prof Mubarika, cancer is a global problem whose incidence continues to rise. Moreover, WHO projected that by 2035, there will be 24 million new cases and 14.5 million deaths globally caused by cancer per year. Hence, every day, thousands of researchers are working hard to discover a better cancer therapy and prevention. Researchers involved are not only from the biomedical field, but also from clinicians, bioinformatics experts, and a range of support systems – they must be ready to collaborate among each other. The collaboration is expected to succeed cancer research in improving the quality of life of Indonesian people. “To be successful, we can’t do alone. We should never walk alone,” closed Prof. Mubarika, which was responded by thunderous applause from the international guest lecturers as well as all participants. (Fildzah/Reporter_interpreted by Leo)