American Russian Cancer Alliance (ARCA)

"ARCA is a partnership that demonstrates that the whole can exceed the sum of its parts."

-Joseph Harford, PhD - NCI Office of International Affairs

Mission:

  • Pool the intellectual and scientific resources of member institutions to foster clinical innovations and discoveries to accelerate the evaluation of cancer research, management, and therapy
  • Initiate collaborative research initiatives among American Russian Cancer Alliance (ARCA) members.

Vision:

  • To develop a partnership among American and Russian cancer centers and research institutions to identify and capitalize on the special expertise and experience of the ARCA members for the advancement of cancer research and translation to clinical application.

Background

Each member of the ARCA brings unique strengths to the mission and values that have been established by the parties. The members provide education and training as a method to exchange intellectual ideas and stimulate the development of new initiatives. ARCA is a bi-lateral partnership designed to benefit the citizens of both countries who suffer from cancer.

Russia

United States

  • Centralized system of delivering cancer care
  • Superior guidance, development, production of radioisotopes
 
  • Advancement in technology, research, development and guidlines for cancer treatment

National Significance


ARCA Program Briefing
(Left to Right):Marlene Kaufman, Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
Daniel Kuebbing PhD, MD BioPro, Joseph Harford, PhD, NCI,
Congressman Steny Hoyer (D)- MD;
Paul Engstrom MD, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Sophia Michaelson, ARCA

From its inception, the ARCA program has received critical support and guidance from United States Congressional representatives. Support extended by Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD, House Minority Whip) has been especially instrumental in program recognition and growth. Russian State Duma Deputy Chairman of Health and Human Services Committee, Dr. Nikolay Gerasimenko has provided similar leadership and supported ARCA in development in the Russian Federation. He has been the most effective and visible for Cancer Prevention and Tobacco Control Programs in Russian Federation.

Both Congressman Hoyer and Russian State Duma member Gerasimenko have supported the work of ARCA and National Cancer Institute (NCI) in combating tobacco related cancers and ARCA's cutting edge radioisotope research. The NCI has provided support for ARCA infrastructure which has facilitated international scientific exchange and communication between ARCA partners. NCI has provided support for cancer prevention and tobacco control research in the Russian Federation and assistance in Health or Tobacco Forums in 2007, 2009 and upcoming 2011. The "Health or Tobacco" Forum, Moscow 2007 and 2009. As a result of all ARCA and NCI initiated tobacco control activities and Forums, Russia has joined World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in April 2008.

ARCA Research

Radioisotope Therapy of Cancer:

ARCA supported Russian and US scientific collaborative research to develop radiopharmaceuticals for the detection and treatment of cancer. Through this mechanism, the Russian Nuclear Industry Network (RNIN) provides the nuclear technology and medical radioisotopes to scientists at Fox Chase Cancer Center (FCCC) and the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute (UMBI). At Fox Chase Cancer Center the ARCA sponsored collaboration, "Bismuth-213 Radioimmunotherapy of Ovarian Cancer" combines advanced tumor seeking antibodies with rare, high technology alpha emitters. Researchers at UMBI will be critical for manufacturing the antibodies necessary to carry out these efforts. Also, other scientists at FCCC have been developing anti-tumor antibody markers for Positron Emission Tomography (PET) detection and staging of cancer using Iodine-124 acquired from the RNIN. This work is being done to support translation of this molecule into clinical trials in the setting of metastatic breast cancer.

Cancer Prevention:

Fox Chase Cancer Center and Blokhin Cancer Center are collaborating under ARCA to examine several key areas of tobacco related research. The research has focused on the following areas:

  • Tobacco use among cancer patients and correlates of smoking and interest in cessation;
  • The degree to which oncologists have been trained to provide cessation counseling; the degree to which they provide such counseling; and the prevalence of beliefs about counseling which serve as barriers to implementation of cessation treatment;
  • Physician willingness to undergo training in cessation counseling and their preferences for various types of training.

Joint efforts between Russian Duma, US Congress, NCI and ARCA partners has led to tangible results of Russia joining WHO-FCTC in April, 2008 and sientific advancements at Fox Chase with Iodine-124.

Prepared by: Sophia Michaelson, Executive Director, American Russian Cancer Alliance
Phone: 1(317) 413-6633; Fax: 1(571) 261-4175; E-mail: Sophia_RMC@msn.com