Taiwanese Research Institutions Join US-led Initiative to Combat Cancer -- 台灣研究機構參與美國所主導抗癌計畫

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by Chien-Chou "Antonio" Liao
Vice President Joe Biden met with doctors at Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia, one of several institutions contributing to the Cancer Moonshot initiative. Image: National Cancer Institute. 美國副總統拜登與賓州大學佩雷爾曼醫學院醫師會面,佩雷爾曼醫學院為癌症登月計畫參與機構之一。圖片來源: National Cancer Institute.

This article is presented bilingually in English and Chinese. For Chinese, click here. 本文附有中英雙語版本。若需參閱中文版,請點擊此連結

In 2015, cancer caused 28.3% of total deaths in Taiwan, making it the main cause of death, while in the US cancer claimed over 590,000 lives in 2014. In September, 2016, two flagship research institutes in Taiwan, Academia Sinica and National Chang Gung University, joined the Cancer Moonshot initiative that was established by the Obama administration to search for ways to combat cancer. By signing a memorandum of understanding with the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Cancer Institute, the two Taiwanese institutions will work alongside institutions from Canada, South Korea, Japan, China, Switzerland, Germany, and the United States.

Despite recent advances in biotechnology and other medical fields, cancer continues to serve as the leading cause of death in most developed countries. The Cancer Moonshot initiative was proposed by President Obama, and Vice President Biden was appointed to lead the effort to find a cure for cancer by 2030. To achieve the goal, the White House envisions a $1 billion overall budget for the initiative, and in February Congress appropriated $195 million for the NIH for Fiscal Year 2016. With its healthcare system ranked third in medical practices in the world and first in Asia, Taiwan seeks to engage rigorously and contribute to the efforts of the initiative by collaborating with a variety of world-leading research institutions across the US, such as the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.  According to representatives from Academia Sinica, Taiwan’s national biomedical database, collection of pathology samples, and medical technologies make Taiwan an indispensable partner in advancing with cancer research and treatment.

The Cancer Moonshot initiative is not the first occasion in which Taiwan and the US have collaborated on medical research and disease control. Amid the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak in mid-2015, Taiwan and the US held a workshop aiming to promote public health awareness and diagnose the highly contagious disease. Taiwanese academics and researchers have also participated actively in efforts to combat diseases, such as the USAID sponsored initiative, Combating Zika and Future Threats: A Grand Challenge for Development.

Other Asian states are also important partners to the US on the medical and pathological front. The US-Japan Cooperative Medical Sciences Program (CMSP) provides Japanese and American scientists a platform for collaborations on medical research and treatments. Australia’s Flinders University and the University of California at Irvine have recently formulated a potential vaccine for Alzheimer’s, also through a joint research initiative.

 

Chien-Chou “Antonio” Liao is a Research Intern at the East-West Center in Washington and a Recent Graduate of the American University School of International Service. 

 

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2015年癌症占臺灣所有死亡人數的28.3%,位居十大死因之首,更於2014奪走了美國超過59萬條性命。台灣兩大旗鑑研究機構,國立成功大學及中央研究院,於今年九月正式加入了歐巴馬政府就對抗癌症所創立的癌症登月計畫 (National Cancer Moonshot)。與美國國家衛生研究院 (National Institute of Health) 旗下的國家癌症研究所 (National Cancer Institute) 簽署美台合作備忘錄之後,這兩所研究機構將與來自加拿大,南韓,日本,中國,瑞士,德國及美國的機構合作。

在生物及其它醫療科技發展日新月異的同時,癌症始終仍在絕大部份已發展國家中佔據著首要死因的位置。為了在2030年之前為癌症找出解藥,美國總統歐巴馬 (President Barack Obama) 提出並指任副總統拜 (Vice President Joe Biden) 登領導癌症登月計畫。經費方面,美國國會於今年二月編列了一億九千五百萬美元的預算做為2016年財政年度美國國家衛生研究院研究經費。美國白宮對該計畫的總體預算則達10億美金

台灣的醫療體系在世界名列第三,亞洲第一。中研院與成功大學將與賓州大學阿布拉姆森癌症中心 (Abramson Cancer Center at University of Pennsylvania) 和西雅圖癌症照護聯盟 (Seattle Cancer Care Alliance) 等美國頂尖癌症研究機構合作,並積極運用癌症登月計畫做為臺灣對世界醫學貢獻的一個平台。中研院代表指出,台灣的人體生物資料庫,病理學檢體樣本收集,以及各種醫療技術造就了台灣成爲在癌症研究及治療方面不可或缺的合作伙伴。

癌症登月計畫只是眾多台美醫學及疾病管制合作的其中一個例子。2015年中旬,正值中東呼吸症候群冠狀病毒感染症 (MERS) 大爆發,台灣與美國就提倡公共衛生及民眾認知舉辦了一系列講座及活動。台灣學者及研究人員也長期在各種場合積極投身於疾病防制,例如美國國際開發署 (USAID) 所舉辦的對抗茲卡病毒活動

與此同時,其它亞洲國家對美國而言也是在醫療及病理領域中極為重要的合作伙伴。在美國與日本合作方面,美日醫療科學合作計畫 (The US-Japan Cooperative Medical Sciences Program) 為來自日本及美國的科學家提供了一個醫療合作及研究的平台。位於澳洲的福林德斯大學 (Flinders University) 也同美國加州大學爾灣分校 (University of California, Irvine) 針對阿茲海默症的潛在疫苗進行了合作研發

 

廖建州目前是位於華盛頓特區東西方中心的實習生,並畢業於美利堅大學。