MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
This issue marks the 16th Anniversary of the IAHPC Newsletter!
We are very proud of our Newsletter, but most of all we are appreciative of the hard work and dedication of our editor, Dr. William Farr who has voluntarily contributed his time and effort for all these years! The Newsletter has proven to be a wonderful tool to disseminate a broad range of information and increase awareness about hospice and palliative care around the world. It has served as a tool for many of you to learn about new developments, events and also to bring attention to your own programs, the challenges that many of you face and the progress that thousands have been able to achieve. We ask you to join us in thanking Dr. Farr for his effort and dedication.
We also wish to thank the many contributors and board members who have supplied us with outstanding content each month. We especially thank Dr. Roger Woodruff for his monthly book reviews and Dr. Carla Ripamonti for her Article of the Month. Many thanks as well to our members and readers who submit news and articles about their efforts and the developments in their countries.
Please remember that we accept articles for our publication that describe your progress and the programs that you are implementing in your countries, as well as news from your region. Your articles enrich our newsletter and are a crucial part of our mission to facilitate international communication.
This month we have three important announcements:
1. Do opioids influence cancer growth? The IAHPC perspective
Two new studies and a commentary published in the April edition of the journal Anesthesiology report a link between opioid drugs used to relieve pain in postoperative and chronic cancer patients and cancer growth and spread. A press release from the University of Chicago argues that this adds to the growing body of evidence that opioids can stimulate the growth and spread of cancer cells. Several members of the IAHPC research and scientific committee of the board of directors feel that this evidence needs to be put into perspective so that patients, care givers and professionals are able to understand the clinical implications of the findings and be guided in use of opioids for pain relief. For this reason, the IAHPC members of scientific and research committee decided to develop a position statement. This position statement was delivered through our subscriber’s list, is included in this Newsletter and has also been posted in the EAPC blog in http://eapcnet.wordpress.com/
2. Participation in Congresses: IAHPC participated in the VI Congress of the Latin American Association for Palliative Care held in Curitiba, Brazil on March 14-17 in several ways:
- Having a stand in the exhibit area where we are able to provide information about our programs and projects
- Offered 10 traveling scholarships to support the travel and participation of individuals from developing countries who had accepted posters and oral presentations.
- Offered a special promotion of 20% discount for participants to this congress who wished to join IAHPC as members during the days of the congress. Many individuals renewed their memberships and many new ones took advantage of this opportunity.
- Supported the travel of several participants and session coordinators: Dr. Tania Pastrana from University of Aachen in Germany, who is coordinating the project ALCP Atlas in Latin America; Danilo Fritzler, the IAHPC webmaster who presented a poster on the Internet as a tool to develop palliative care; Roberto who coordinated two sessions on communication and management and Liliana who presented a plenary.
- Participated in the symposium for the launching of the Opioid Manual for Latin America published by the IAHPC Press (in Spanish). The manual was written by Latin American authors and will be published and distributed freely throughout the region through the support of Tecnofarma.
3. EAPC Research Congress: IAHPC recently announced that we will be providing ten scholarships from the IAHPC Traveling Scholarship Program, to help support the travel of palliative care workers in developing countries to the 7th World Research Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC). The Research Congress of EAPC will take place in Trondheim, Norway, June 7-9, 2012. The deadline to apply was March 31st. Many thanks to all those who submitted applications – winners will be announced in the next edition of this NL.
Roberto Wenk, MD
Chair, Board of Directors
Liliana De Lima, MHA
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