INCTR’s mission is to build capacity for cancer treatment and research with the vision of developing an international network dedicated to education and emphasizing a scientific approach. INCTR believes that working together with colleagues from developing countries “in the field” is the most efficient way to transfer knowledge to health care professionals.
The importance of research can never be under emphasized. It is essential if national priorities that require the collection of locally relevant evidence are to be addressed; it leads to a more analytical and disciplined approach to all aspects of health care; it allows advantage to be taken of unique scientific opportunities and will lead to greater independence of developing countries from high income countries and to their economic development.
In the creation of an international network, it was recognized that “local” ownership of programs and projects is essential, yet resources from high income countries are necessary. INCTR began to create its network through offices and branches, usually those established with longstanding colleagues. Offices and branches in high income countries such as the USA, UK, France and Canada will access regional and national resources, both human and financial, and contribute to INCTR programs. Offices and branches in low and middle income countries provide national or regional coordination of INCTR programs and projects and participate in regional capacity building as well as fund raising. The guiding principles of INCTR’s offices and branches are its Charter.
INCTR has extended its network beyond its offices and branches in low and middle income countries to collaborating units associated with cancer treatment centers/units or diagnostic facilities within or in other different countries. These units participate in education, treatment, research and other programs and projects at the institutional level and are considered a valued and essential part of the overall network of INCTR. INCTR is currently working with collaborating units located through Latin America, Africa and Asia.
INCTR identifies and initiates activities through its programs. INCTR’s programs are briefly described below. More detailed information about each program can be found in INCTR Programs.
INCTR is the process of establishing new programs for Oncology Nursing and Cancer Registration and plans to establish a program for Women’s Cancers.
One of INCTR’s main strategies, that can be applied to essentially all cancer control projects, is to develop a center of excellence in patient care, education and research which can then help spawn or promote the development of centers in other parts of the country or region. Training of a variety of professionals will be necessary in order to develop high quality early detection projects, clinical studies, including treatment studies, and palliative care.
INCTR seeks to improve human resources for the delivery of effective patient care in developing countries. In order to achieve this goal, INCTR establishes and maintains partnerships with academic institutions and organizations that have overlapping interests and activities in developing countries. INCTR is developing an INCTR “faculty” from partnerships with academic institutions that is comprised of health care professionals who represent a variety of disciplines required for the optimal conduct of INCTR programs. INCTR faculty members perform initial on-site assessments and follow up visits for monitoring or education as well as participate in web-based teaching and consultation. Some stay for extended periods of time to work with local staff at institutions in low and middle income countries. Partnerships with academic centers and professional organizations will assist INCTR to expand educational resources for its programs in low and middle income countries.
INCTR holds biennial meetings on cancer control in developing countries. These meetings serve to bring together INCTR members, particularly those involved in INCTR projects and programs from many different countries to strengthen international collaboration in all aspects of cancer treatment and research, to report progress that has been made in INCTR programs and projects, and to identify focal points for discussion that may lead to the development of new programs and/or projects.