Strategic Investigation Comprehensive Cancer Network



Surviving Cancer in Asia 2017-2018

Information, Technology, and Society in Asia — ITASIA 128
Network for Education and Research on Asia — ASNET 4971280

Course Detail

  • Seminar Room 1, — Faculty of Medicine Experimental Research Building, Hongo Campus
  • A semester , Monday except the national holiday — 14:55-16:40

more infor [pdf]

Course Overview

1) Positioning and Aims of the Course
This lecture course is multidisciplinary and aims to bring together students from various fields to learn about an issue that has tended previously to only be perceived from a specialist angle. By providing students with the opportunity to learn about matters outside their own area of specialization, the course aims to also provide an opportunity for students to relativize their own studies.
The field of cancer is one that has a high degree of specialization and it has not necessarily interacted well or been open to collaboration with other fields of study to date. This course aims to support the development of the next generation of experts who are adept at working in interdisciplinary environments and will be the driving force behind research in their various fields, based on the recognition that the role of a modern university is to create innovation in response to social issues.

2) Background and Significance of the Course
This groundbreaking multidisciplinary approach to learning aims to address issues relating to the common and ever-growing challenge of cancer in Asia, with reference to global policy concepts on Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
To date we have sought to contribute to enhancing international cancer research from an Asian perspective by comparing the characteristics of Asia to those of western countries. This lecture course is a part of these ongoing efforts.
The following site sets out our recognition of the issues and our perceived mission:
As part of these efforts, an international meeting to discuss cancer in Asia was held in 2009 at the Asia-Pacific Cancer Conference in Tsukuba.
Since then we have held a series of international meetings in various locations, with the aim of deepening discussion on social issues relating to cancer.
In 2015 the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were unanimously adopted at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, as the successor to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). One of the specific targets of the SDGs refers to the concept of UHC and since the adoption of the SDGs attention has started to be focused on the realization of UHC.
The goals of UHC are to ensure that all people have access to high-quality health services, to protect all people from public health risks, and to protect all people from financial hardship due to out-of-pocket costs for health services and loss of income when they or a family member fall ill.

There are currently many initiatives and proposals for action in the international community that seek to achieve UHC, which has come to be recognized as a global policy agreement. The implementation of a UHC strategy requires the involvement of stakeholders, who have an influence on the design of and implementation of programs, including matters such as budgetary allocation and investment in healthcare practitioners. Programs and decisions made to date have largely been based on a response to primary care, predicated on a disease structure dominated by communicable diseases. However, it is projected that under current structures it is unlikely that healthcare systems will be able to cope with the tremendous socioeconomic burden caused by the rapidly increasing cases of cancer in Asia. The realization of UHC for cancer in Asia is therefore fraught with major challenges, as the immense costs arising from cancer care require countries to have robust financial and healthcare systems in place.
Despite the fact that thanks to advances in medicine many types of cancer are now highly treatable with good prospects for remission or cure, the fact remains that not everyone can have access to the latest treatment. Furthermore, even in countries where medical systems and care are highly advanced, difficult questions now have to be addressed about just how far treatment can be provided with limited medical resources. These facts amply demonstrate that both industrialized and developing countries share similar issues and that UHC for cancer can be perceived as a common global challenge. Cancer is characterized by the tremendous impact it has directly on the patient him/herself and those close to the patient. As societies continue to age, there has never been a time in the history of humankind when people have faced such a serious threat from disease. To realize a sustainable society in the future it is imperative for all people on the planet, regardless of socioeconomic status, to join together in creating knowledge and wisdom that will help the human race face and survive cancer.

The realization of UHC for cancer in Asia is an urgent challenge, given the rising incidence of cancer across the Asian region. However, multiple tasks still remain to be addressed, given the significant differences in the level of healthcare in Asian countries and differences in social security systems. It is precisely because of the difficulty of this challenge that we believe that students from various fields of study can come to together to provide a fresh perspective and help to achieve a breakthrough in the future.

3) Attainment Targets for Course Participants
Through this course students will gain an understanding of the current status and challenges for cancer in Asia and also the significance of UHC as a policy concept. By considering the impact that UHC could have on cancer in Asia and reviewing various reference papers on this topic, students will present their own opinions with regard to the structures and methods that could ensure the realization of UHC for cancer in Asia.

4) Learning Process
Through a series of lectures (see attachment) that will continue through to the end of January 2018 participants will learn about the current status and challenges for cancer in Asia and also gain an understanding of the significance of UHC as a policy concept, including reference to specific examples.

  • Characteristics of cancer treatment and care in Asia and the significance of interdisciplinary studies
  • What can we learn from data in order to create a profile for UHC for cancer in Asia?
  • UHC policy concepts and the role of the international community
    (Sharing knowledge about the processes involved from the formulation and introduction of a UHC strategy through to implementation)
  • Exploring what medical resources are required for the realization of UHC for cancer in Asia: Financial, human resources, culture (philosophy, religion), societal structures
  • International comparison of health economics evaluations in Asia
  • Role of pharmaceutical companies in realizing UHC for cancer care in Asia

5) Evaluation
Evaluation comprises the following components: attendance, short reports submitted after each lecture*, presentation, final report.
(*Short reports are written in response to a question posed by the lecturer in a format of the student’s choosing. As the course is in an omnibus format, these short reports are important for demonstrating understanding of each lecture and ensuring that students have given thought to how the contents of each lecture relate to each other as individual parts of the overall course. The content of the short reports will not affect grading of the course—evaluation is based on whether a report is submitted or not. These short reports may be considered as notes in preparation for compilation of the final report.)

What are the needs for Universal Health Coverage for cancer in Asia and how should it be provided?
If you or a person close to you were to receive a cancer diagnosis, what social systems and mechanisms do you think are necessary to support and complement cancer treatment?
Universal Health Coverage is a concept that aims to ensure that all people obtain the health services they need without suffering financial hardship.
The future of Asia is your future. Why not bring your own knowledge and ideas to a course that enables people from all disciplines to come together and share views on surviving cancer in Asia?

Course Schedule 2017-2018

  • 10/2    Elucidating the outlook for UHC from awareness surveys in Asia
    Shigeto Sonoda (Professor, The University of Tokyo)
  • 10/16   Where is the road to realization of UHC leading for cancer in Asia?
    A case study based on prostate cancer research
    Hideyuki Akaza (Professor, The University of Tokyo )
  • 10/30 T-shaped approach to health system strengthening
    Keizo Takemi (Member of the House of Councillors, Japan)
  • 11/6 Perspectives of Cancer Control in the Emerging Context of Global Health
    Hiroki Nakatani(Professor,KGRI, Keio University Global Research Institute)
  • 11/27   What Japan can do to achieving desired goals of cancer treatments in Asia?
    Shigeo Horie(Professor ,Department of Urology, Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine)
  • 12/4  How to capture the data of life in Asian cancer patients from the view of Ethnography
    Emiko Namihira (Professor emeritus, Ochanomizu University )
  • 12/11 The Role of UICC and Public–Private Partnership
    Norie Kawahara  ( Assistant Professor, The University of Tokyo)
  • 12/18  UHC and Primary Health Care in Asia
  • 12/25  What is the role of resource stratified scheme  in realizing UHC for cancer in Asia?—Looking beyond the World Health Assembly cancer resolution in 2017
    (Takeda Pharmaceutical Company)
  • 1/15  Human resource education in international organizations: Does the WHO have a bridging role to play between Asia and the West in cancer care education?
    Shinjiro Nozaki  WHO Center for Health Development (WHO Kobe Centre)
  • 1 /22   What significance does the concept of UHC for cancer care have for pharmaceutical companies?
    (Astellas Pharma Inc . )
  • 1/29    Student presentations Course