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A delegation from the Tata Memorial Centre cancer hospital in Mumbai, India visited the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center as part of a U.S. tour visiting comprehensive cancer centers. The visit, sponsored through the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Liaison for International Partnerships, was intended to share knowledge about how American universities and hospitals operate a comprehensive cancer center.

The delegation included physicians and administrators from the Tata Memorial Centre in Mumbai, India. Mumbai’s cancer center was established in 1952, and now sees nearly 30,000 new patients each year. In 2002, Tata Memorial established the Advanced Centre for Treatment, Research and Education in Cancer (ACTREC) as a combined treatment and research center investigating drug development, new treatments and cancer prevention.

UNC Lineberger Global Oncology Directors Dirk Dittmer, PhD, and Blossom Damania, PhD, hosted the delegation. The Global Oncology Program has an established partnership with Tata Memorial, which Drs. Damania and Dittmer first visited in 2009. They currently have a NCI grant with Tata Memorial to study lymphomas and oral cancers in India.

The Indian government has invested heavily in cancer care and prevention in order to reduce the nation’s growing number of cancer patients. More than 1 million new cases are diagnosed each year, more than 600,000 die each year from the disease.