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Dr. Neil Iyengar featured in ET HealthWorld

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Dr Neil Iyengar, ET HealthWorld

In an exclusive interview with Dr. Neil Iyengar, MD, Breast Oncologist at New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Center, valuable insights were shared regarding the future of cutting-edge cancer therapies, bridging clinical trial gaps in low-income countries, and the need for affordable anti-cancer drugs. Dr. Iyengar highlighted MSK’s focus on training Indian oncologists in the latest cancer treatment tools and techniques. The discussion centered around the advancements in cancer research, particularly in breast cancer, and the global opportunities for innovative treatments.

Cancer research is undergoing a transformative phase with significant progress in immunotherapy, antibody drug conjugates (ADCs), and molecular therapeutics like PI3 kinase and CDK 46 inhibitors. These advancements are revolutionizing cancer treatment by targeting biological characteristics over anatomical locations. Immunotherapy and radiopharmaceuticals are viewed as the next frontier in cancer care, with ongoing research to enhance treatment outcomes.

The establishment of the MSK Cancer Center in India two years ago aimed to address the rising cancer burden in the country and improve early detection rates, which currently stand at approximately 29%. Collaborative efforts with the Indian oncology community have led to joint scientific sessions, knowledge exchange, and increased access to clinical trials, benefiting patients in both India and globally.

The MSK India Center’s focus on clinical trials emphasizes the importance of inclusivity and community involvement in research. By tailoring trial designs to suit the Indian population’s needs and collaborating with local stakeholders, the center strives to introduce new therapies and improve research outcomes. Additionally, the center is actively engaged in training local oncologists in the latest cancer care techniques to enhance treatment standards in India.

Addressing the affordability of cancer care is a key priority for the MSK India Center, involving negotiations with payers, insurance companies, and pharmaceutical companies to ensure the accessibility of cutting-edge treatments. Collaborative efforts with the Indian oncology community and a focus on region-specific research findings aim to enhance the overall value of oncology care in India and improve patient outcomes.

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