Preventing breast cancer and treating the disease more effectively will require continued research, collaboration and innovation, said Dr. Stephen R. Grobmyer, director of Cleveland Clinic’s Breast Center in the United States, during a recent visit to the United Arab Emirates.
Grobmyer, a leading surgical oncologist, conducted a series of lectures at Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) campuses in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, as well as at the University of Sharjah Medical School, where he addressed hundreds of students and faculty members, studying and working in different medical-related fields.
Dr. Grobmyer’s presentations were on the role of innovation in the future of global breast health. He highlighted the challenges that society is facing with the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer and how society needs to collaborate and create novel solutions (innovations) to reduce the burden of breast cancer and improve clinical outcomes.
“We all have to innovate and embrace innovation if we are to change the future,” he said.
Dr. Grobmyer gave some startling facts about the disease which is the most common cause of cancer amongst women worldwide. He pointed out, “14 percent of all cancer diagnoses in the USA are breast cancer-related and a 50 percent increase of breast cancer worldwide by 2030 is predicted.” He added, “Generally the hindrances to treating breast cancers successfully were a lack of awareness (education), changing lifestyles and limited resources.”
While women over 60 years of age are the most at-risk population, he said, “here (Middle East) and in Asia it is appearing in much younger women.” Dr. Grobmyer added, “The solutions could be found by proactive steps – research, collaborate, innovate … We need to innovate in prevention, implementation and early detection.”
The oncology surgeon spoke of a range of innovations being implemented by Cleveland Clinic in the detection and treatment of breast cancer, including “My Family”, an online resource which helps with the early diagnosis of breast cancer by obtaining a patient’s medical and family history.
He also spoke of intra-operative radiation therapy for early-stage breast cancer patients, nano-medicine, metagenomics and investigations into a breast cancer vaccine as innovative practices by Cleveland Clinic’s Breast Center and Surgical Oncology Department.
Dr. Tayeb Kamali, Vice Chancellor of the Higher Colleges of Technology, thanked Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, USA, for their support in raising awareness and Dr. Grobmyer for giving his time to present the informative lectures.
“We were honoured to have someone of Dr. Grobmyer’s expertise from Cleveland Clinic and stature here in the UAE to give our students an insight into the latest in innovative practices in the detection and treatment of breast cancer,” Dr. Kamali said. “Dr. Grobmyer’s presence was a wonderful awareness-raising opportunity for our colleges, where HCT students were able to learn more about breast cancer treatment from an expert and how early protection can save lives,” he added.
Dr. Grobmyer is the director of the Section of Surgical Oncology and director of the Breast Center at Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. Nationally, he is the chair of the 2014 program committee for the Society of Surgical Oncology. He is on the breast cancer education committee for the American Society of Clinical Oncology and serves as an educational consultant to the American Board of Surgery. He recently was awarded the Clinical Investigator Award from the Society of Surgical Oncology.
He has a translational research program in cancer nanotechnology, which is focused on the engineering, design, application, and translation of new nanotechnologies for cancer imaging and therapy. It is funded by the American Cancer Society, the U.S. Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program, and the National Institute of Health.
He has published 116 peer reviewed manuscripts and 10 book chapters. He has edited a book on cancer nanotechnology and several patents on novel multifunctional nano-materials for breast cancer imaging and therapy. His clinical research interests are in the areas of cancer prevention, breast cancer metagenomics, intra-operative radiation therapy, lymph node surgery in breast cancer and wellness.