Sylvester Shares its Cancer Expertise to Improve Care in Other Countries

Global Oncology and International Programs at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine recently established new partnerships in South America, collaborated on an international symposium in Brazil, and hosted the first annual Global Oncology Research Dialogue at Sylvester.

The day-long dialogue was held May 1, with the purpose of bringing together partners from across the Americas to discuss Sylvester’s international work in the Latin American and Caribbean region, and build collaborations. Gilberto Lopes, M.D., M.B.A., associate director for global oncology at Sylvester, gave the welcoming remarks.

“We are working to develop partnerships with leading institutions in the region so we can learn from each other and work together to address the gaps we have in outcomes today in our communities,” he said.

Guest speakers and panelists featured internationally renowned experts on global oncology from across the U.S., Brazil and Colombia. Felicia Knaul, Ph.D., director of the University of Miami Institute for Advanced Studies of the Americas opened the program with a presentation on disparities in cancer mortality rates in areas where resources and access to care are limited.

Oncologists and pathologists from Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Uruguay, and Ecuador traveled to Sylvester for a two-day preceptorship in molecular pathology. Lectures and case discussions were led by Sylvester physicians and researchers. Participants toured Sylvester, pathology and sequencing labs, and the Lennar Foundation Medical Center.

In Sao Paulo, Brazil, SINTOMA (Simposio Internacional de Onco-Hematologia) was held in March. This first international onco-hematology symposium was a collaboration between Sylvester and Beneficiencia Portuguesa, one of the most important cancer centers in Brazil. More than 200 participants attended the three-day event. Alvaro Alencar, M.D., helped coordinate the symposium, which featured presentations by Justin Watts, M.D., and Krishna Komanduri, M.D., all specialists in hematology/oncology at Sylvester.

This symposium served to cement several partnerships with leading cancer institutions in Brazil. Sylvester physicians and researchers are sharing their expertise to help improve patient outcomes there.

“These are unique opportunities for Sylvester to display its resources and our genuine interest in the advancement of cancer care in Latin America,” said Alencar.

Sylvester’s Global Oncology and International Programs also aim to develop clinical trials with academic and industry partners to address cancer care in low- and middle-income countries. One example is Keynote 042, with sites in Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America. This trial compares pembrolizumab versus chemotherapy as first line treatment for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer who do not have driver mutations. Lopes will be presenting the results of this open label phase 3 study at the plenary session at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology on June 3.

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