HealthTECH World Cancer Day at INL

February 3, 2020

Technologies must be used to fight cancer in a broader sense than just medicines

The President of the Portuguese League Against Cancer, Vitor Rodrigues, urged the adoption of new health technologies in all the stages of the cancer fight adding that “we should not focus only on medicines, which are just one of the many available technologies that we have at our disposal”.

While intervening at the Portuguese chapter of the HealthTECH World Cancer Day, held at the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL) this Monday, February 3rd, Vitor Rodrigues also mentioned that the “lack of a professional structure to support clinical trials in Portugal is one of the main obstacles to the adoption of new diagnostics and therapeutics solutions, and is in the origin of many lost opportunities to have an effective answer to our oncologic patients”.

Sérgio Simões, CEO of Luzitin, a Portuguese company focused on photodynamic therapy that already proved to be effective in cases of head and neck cancer, added that “all research efforts must be connected to what the patients need, and that is why the connection to clinicians must be strong and constant”. 

Joana Ribeiro, an oncologist at the Breast Cancer Unit at Fundação Champalimaud, agreed that medical doctors are key to explore new alternatives, and Maria José Oliveira, from i3S – University of Porto, added that “we must have clinical support to take our research further and above all to know what the patients need”.

The Deputy Director-General of INL, Paulo Freitas, concluded that the link between the researchers and the clinicians “must never be lost”, having in mind the connection that medical doctors also have with the Pharmaceutical Industry. “Above all, we need to never lose sight from the patients who are at the beginning and at the end of the process”.

This event, that joined dozens of participants, helped to clarify how health technologies, namely the ones based in nanotechnology, are giving clinicians new and better weapons to fight cancer, providing a faster and more accurate diagnosis as well as better outcomes with fewer side effects.

The HealthTECH World Cancer Day at INL, Braga, Portugal, was one of the five locations where this initiative was simultaneously held to inform a wider audience of the revolution brought about by the health technologies in the fight against cancer.