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10 December 2023

UAE Oncology Conference 2023: Global Experts Convene to Advance Cancer Care


The fourth annual conference of the Emirates Oncology Society commenced yesterday in Dubai under the patronage of Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence.

Organised by the association with the support of the Emirates Medical Association and the Gulf Oncology Society, the event spans two days and has drawn more than 1,400 specialists in the field of oncology and related disciplines.

The conference features a lineup of 90 speakers from various countries, including France, Germany, and the United States, as well as esteemed doctors from the University of Houston.

Additionally, major international pharmaceutical companies have made notable contributions to this gathering.

On the inaugural day of the conference, participants engaged in discussions covering the latest global advancements in cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Topics included the significance of supportive palliative therapy, cutting-edge treatments like targeted therapy and bone marrow transplantation, which have shown promise in managing previously incurable cancer conditions. The event also showcased the most recent medical research developments in the field of oncology.

In an exciting development on the sidelines of the conference, a groundbreaking hormonal drug for the treatment of advanced-stage breast cancer was officially launched. It is noteworthy that the UAE holds the distinction of being the second country in the world to register this innovative pharmaceutical breakthrough. This development represents a significant stride forward in the battle against breast cancer.

The Emirates Oncology Society conference serves as a critical platform for healthcare professionals to exchange knowledge, explore breakthroughs, and advance the field of oncology. With the strong support of Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak and contributions from global experts, this year's event promises to be a milestone in the ongoing fight against cancer.

During his opening address at the conference, Dr. Amin Hussein Al Amiri, Assistant Undersecretary for the Health Regulation Sector at the Ministry of Health and Community Protection, shed light on the cancer landscape within the country.

He emphasised the UAE's remarkable commitment to advancing healthcare, particularly in bolstering the cancer sector, raising health awareness, actively engaging in significant scientific research endeavours, and hosting pivotal conferences.

Dr. Al Amiri also provided insights into the national policy aimed at promoting healthier lifestyles across the nation. This multifaceted approach places a strong emphasis on encouraging healthy dietary choices, promoting physical activity, and implementing stringent tobacco control measures.

Furthermore, he discussed the robust pharmaceutical sector in the UAE and the notable strides made in medical research and development, highlighting an impressive 20 percent increase in medical research output between 2017 and 2021.

Dr. Al Amiri illuminated the evolving cancer landscape within the country, highlighting that in 2019, the incidence rate stood at 26percent among citizens and 74 percent among non-citizens, with a breakdown of 56 percent among women and 44 percent among men.

He underscored the significance of preventive measures, explaining that a substantial 30-50 percent of cancer cases can be averted by steering clear of risk factors. Early detection, he emphasised, offers a window for effective treatment. In a somber note, Dr. Al Amiri noted that cancer claimed the lives of more than 10 million individuals worldwide in 2020, with projections indicating a potential increase to 18 million cases globally by 2040.

Professor Humaid bin Harmal Al Shamsi, President of the Emirates Oncology Society and Conference Chairman, lauded the international presence at the event, emphasising its role in disseminating knowledge about the latest developments in the oncology and cancer sector.

He pointed to the active participation of esteemed scientific bodies, underscoring the UAE's stature as a hub for medical expertise.

He further emphasised the nation's success in raising community awareness, sharing inspiring survivor stories, achieving high recovery rates through early diagnosis and public health campaigns, and providing access to cutting-edge treatments approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. All of these factors, he proudly noted, position the UAE as a leader in the field regionally.

In a complementary sentiment, Professor Lynn Schuchter, President of the American Society of Oncology, expressed her satisfaction with the quality of cancer services available in the UAE.

She commended the nation for its ability to attract global medical expertise and its commitment to delivering advanced and contemporary treatments aligned with the latest international standards.

Concluding the first day's proceedings, distinguished doctors, organisations supporting the cancer sector, and major pharmaceutical companies were honoured.

Additionally, the conference showcased the experiences and resilience of cancer survivors, offering hope and inspiration to all in attendance.