The Faculty of Medicine at the Universidad de Chile has approved the creation of the Centro de Investigación y Tratamiento del Cáncer (Cancer Research and Treatment Center), an organization that will not only conduct cutting-edge research in the oncology field, but also create new avenues for local and international collaboration. While only in its early planning stages, this approval from the Faculty of Medicine is a major step in the right direction for the center, an idea that was born two years ago.
Dr. Julio Tapia, a member of the cancer center’s advisory board, told Radio Universidad de Chile that the center has five goals: to create opportunities for graduate students to develop their investigative skills, to train specialists, to provide services and infrastructure for the storage of samples, to improve capacity for oncology diagnostics, and to enhance the development of molecular epidemiology and genetics in cancer research.
The doctor also highlighted progress towards the development of the center’s tumor biobank. Biobanks are powerful freezers with a high freezing capacity that store tissue samples, DNA, and tumor cells for future analysis.
According to the cancer center’s director Dr. Ricardo Armisén, development of the biobank is already underway.
“We are now advancing our biobank of tumors, making it possible to acquire new equipment, hire staff, hire a new director – Dr. Gonzalo Fernández – and clear important legal issues,” Dr. Armisén said.
Promoting both local and international collaboration will also be a major priority for the center, according to the doctor.
“In Chile, cancer care is distributed in about 10 medical centers, therefore, one of our goals is to try to foster collaborative networks around our initiatives and those of others, forming partnerships for ways to create research with the greatest impact,” Dr. Armisén said.