China / Innovation

Sino-Russian cooperation on nuclear cures for cancer

By Ma Chenguang in Hefei ( Updated: 2015-12-21 15:07

Chinese and Russian top scientific agencies signed an agreement on Friday to make superconducting cyclotron (SC) therapy equipment, the first of its kind in the world aiming to provide the most advanced nuclear cure to some 14 million cancer suffers worldwide.

An official from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) said as high-energy proton and heavy-ion radiotherapies are the world's most advanced radiation therapy technology, offering precision "strikes" for solid tumors in cancer patients, the design of the SC200 will be a "substantive contribution" to world healthcare.

The China-Russia Superconducting Cyclotron Joint Research Center, set up on Friday, will try to bring out related systems and components of SC200 in 2017 and construct the equipment in 2018, said Kuang Guangli, president of CAS Hefei Institutes of Physical Science (CASHIPS).

The research center is jointly launched by CASHIPS' Institute of Plasma Physics and Russia's Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) based in Dubna, 110 kilometers north of Moscow. The two have been cooperating for more than 30 years.

According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization, the number of cancer sufferers rose to an estimated 14 million new cases per year since 2012 and is expected to hit 22 million annually within the next 20 years.

Ludmila Ogorodova, vice-minister of Russia's Ministry of Education and Science, said at the launching ceremony that she is fully confident the advanced equipment will provide better cures for cancer, which is a mutation with a wide range of causes, including environmental risks.

She said the 21st century will be a century for big science, and the establishment of the Russian-Chinese joint center will be a base for research and innovation for scientists from the two nations.

Cao Jianlin, former vice-minister of China's Ministry of Science and Technology, said he is pleased to see the steady growth and enrichment of the long-term Sino-Russian cooperation in the field of science and technology.

While believing the SC therapy equipment will be a success, he called for the early completion of it in order to offer cures to cancer sufferers as soon as possible.

Kuang said the future SC therapy equipment will be stationed in Hefei's Ion Medical Center, which is to be built by CASHIPS and Hefei municipal government and hoped to be one of the country's leading institutions providing appropriate medical treatment and rehabilitation services for cancer patients.

According to China's National Cancer Registry Center, the number of new cancer patients rose to some 3.12 million each year in the country, and is expected to climb to 4 million by 2020.

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