Seiichi Takenoshita, M.D. Ph.D. F.A.C.S.
It is a great pleasure to hold the 52nd Annual Meeting of Japan Society of Clinical Oncology（JSCO）from August 28th through 30th, 2014, in Yokohama, Japan. Please be careful of this period being two months earlier than an ordinary year.
JSCO is the nation's largest multidisciplinary academic society of clinical oncology. It is open for not only medical doctors, but also other medical staff, and cancer patients and their families to join and have an open discussion on current cancer treatment. We have strengthened the tie between JSCO and American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) over the years with the common aim to bring the disease under control, and we newly partnered with European Cancer Organisation (ECCO) to share the same goal. In addition, we have launched Federation of Asian Clinical Oncology (FACO), with Korean Association for Clinical Oncology (KACO) and Chinese Society of Clinical Oncology (CSCO). FACO will be the central framework of cancer treatment in Asia. Therefore, JSCO is also a global, open academic society.
JSCO celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012, with retrospection on the events and achievements of our society. In 2013, we have discussed how we should return our accomplishments in Bench to Home. We hope to make suggestions on the future of personalized medicine during the annual meeting in 2014. The past 10 years saw dramatic progress in oncology treatment, such as personalized medicine that enables patients to choose what is more effective to their type of cancer from the available treatments. Promoting personalized medicine is important, as it shall not only improve patients' QOL, but also help solve the problems such as Japan's aging society, the escalation of medical costs, and the shortage of medical doctors. Not all the patients, however, can benefit from personalized medicine, as the availability depends on the type of cancer. Furthermore, genetic information is not the only factor that has influence on the treatment effect; there are other factors, e.g. patients' general status, organ reserve, nutrition status, and psychological state. In order for personalized medicine to be available to more patients, it is necessary for us to prepare through the effort to promote awareness among patients, medical doctors, nurses, pharmacists, medical social workers, clinical psychotherapists, and other medical staff. We still have a long way to go.
The main theme of the 52nd conference is, therefore, "Breaking New Ground through Perseverance." In order to establish a world-class, unique practice of personalized medicine, earnest and continual efforts must be made in basic research, daily clinical practice, industry-government-academia collaboration, and multidirectional measures of government support. Traditionally in Aizu, Fukushima, those who are honest are respected rather than those who are just smart. The image of brilliant sunshine and ripples on the water surface in Oze of the conference poster embodies the concept of honesty.
In recent years, we have seen acceleration in open innovation through industry-academia collaboration among business, universities and public research institutions. Fukushima Medical University started to promote Research and Development (R&D) through medical-industrial collaboration. Our goal is to promote medical-industrial collaboration in the field of drug discovery and R&D of medical device, and recovery from the disaster in order to realize personalized medicine. This is an unparalleled system in the world through which clinicians, basic medical researchers, and corporate researchers are connected: We would like to discuss the system as one of the models of our nation's medical innovation.
The Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011, still has physical and psychological impact on people in Fukushima: Over 160,000 people have been forced to leave their home, living with the anxiety over their future. Groundless, harmful rumors are nothing but a serious obstacle to our efforts of recovery. We have to rebuild Fukushima to be a much better prefecture than it was before the earthquake. "Breaking New Ground through Perseverance" is, therefore, our slogan describing our resolution to tackle the current challenging situation. Please give us cooperation.
Since the disaster, Fukushima Medical University has been committed to the Fukushima Health Management Survey, to the establishment of cutting-edge medical facilities and treatment system, and to the training of medical professionals including radiation specialists and risk communicators to contribute to the world. We have also been making efforts to restore and revitalize the community by promoting the medical industry. During the 52nd conference, we would like to share our status of recovery and scientific data accumulated over the three years since the disaster, aiming to overcome the nuclear crisis. We hope that this conference will provide the opportunity to express our sincere gratitude for the generous support and considerations extended from people all over the world.