The Memorandum of Understanding between Maria Sklodowska –Curie National Research Institute of Oncology (MSCNRIO) and U.S. National Cancer Institute went into effect on February 23, 2021

February 23, 2021 is an important date for Polish and American cancer centers. Today, the Maria Sklodowska-Curie National Research Institute of Oncology (MSCNRIO) signed Memorandum of Understanding with the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI). This memorandum aims to develop and promote high quality research on cancer prevention and control.

Cooperation between the institutions will focus on six areas:

  • CANCER PREVENTION – MSCNRIO and NCI will collaborate and share information on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer prevention and maintain existing collaboration in the field of tobacco research and H PV vaccination.
  • CANCER CONTROL STRATEGIES – Under the framework of this project, the two institutions will collaborate in prioritizing cancer control research in Poland and the United States and will conduct joint research on selected cases.
  • INNOVATIVE ADVANCES IN CANCER RESEARCH – This program is designed to expand collaboration between Polish and U.S. researchers in conducting research of global value.
  • DATA MANAGEMENT AND SHARING – The project aims to facilitate the collection and analysis of and access to cancer medical data and archives.
  • NEW TECHNOLOGIES IN CANCER PREVENTION AND CONTROL – within this area NCI and MSCNRIO will conduct joint research on applications of new technologies in cancer control, in particular telemedicine, artificial intelligence and robotics.
  • EDUCATION AND TRAINING – the NCI will provide technical support for the establishment of a School of Cancer Epidemiology in Poland.

The NCI is the U.S. federal government’s principal agency for cancer research and training. The Maria Sklodowska-Curie National Research Institute of Oncology is the largest oncology institution in Poland with its mission to discover new knowledge in oncology and to define standards of care in support of the national comprehensive cancer control plan as well as prevention, diagnostics, treatment and education. Both institutions have successfully cooperated in the past on research and academic projects, and therefore are convinced of the effectiveness and legitimacy of deepening this cooperation and expanding joint activities.

“I am very much looking forward to this cooperation, and I am convinced that we, as our American partners, will get maximum benefit from it. Additionally, we have to remember that cancer has no geographical affiliation as a worldwide problem, therefore only international cooperation with exchanging experience and knowledge, makes our fight more effective.” – emphasizes Prof. Iwona Lugowska – Plenipotentiary of the Director for International Cooperation of MSCNRIO.

Dr. Mark Parascandola, Chief of the Research and Training Branch in the NCI Center for Global Health, states that “both Poland and the U.S. have made tremendous progress in recent decades in addressing the burden of cancer, through reducing tobacco use and through innovations in cancer control and treatment. However, cancer remains a leading threat to health in both countries. By working together, and building on a history of partnership, we aim to spur innovation and accelerate progress against cancer.”

The Polish-American Alliance for Innovation Foundation (AFI) participated in the signing of the agreement between the two institutions. AFI will support both institutions in organizational and administrative matters and will ensure a smooth cooperation.

“The goal of our Foundation is to foster Polish-American cooperation in the fields of science, culture and business. The signing of an agreement between such important cancer control institutions is of great importance for patients and the oncologica/ community, but also for the further development of Polish-American cooperation, which is supported by the AIF Foundation. As a supporting organization, we will make every effort to ensure that the research collaboration runs smoothly and is not impeded or slowed down by organizational, communication or administrative issue,” says Marcin Hańczaruk – President of the Management Board of the Alliance for Innovation.

Due to the current pandemic situation, the ceremony of signing the Memorandum of Understanding was held on February 23, 2021 in virtual space. On behalf of MSCNRIO, the contract was signed by Prof. Jan Walewski – Director of the Institute. On behalf of NCI, the official signature was made by Satish Gopal MD MPH – Director of the Center for Global Health.

The Ministry of Health of the Republic of Poland was represented by the Undersecretary of State – Slawornir Gadomski, – who in his speech stressed the importance of strengthening relations between the two countries as well as bolstering the joint effort and cooperation in fighting cancer. The ceremony was, amongst others, attended by representatives of the Office of Global Affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Washington and The National Comprehensive Cancer Network.