Preface ‘Changing Trend in Peritoneal Surface Oncology in Asian Countries’
Since the early phase of emergence of peritoneal surface oncology as an oncologic specialty, Asia has contributed to developing innovative therapies chiefly through the work of Japanese oncologists. Asia is the world’s largest continent covering 30% of its land area and harboring 60% of its total population. It is also the continent in which the widest socioeconomic disparities exist between different countries. Cancer therapy itself is expensive and many Asian countries are still struggling to provide affordable cancer care to all their citizens. The surgical treatment of peritoneal surface malignancies comprising of cytoreductive surgery and intraperitoneal chemotherapy is one of most complex surgical procedures in oncology. Both multidisciplinary expertise and infrastructure are needed to start a peritoneal surface malignancy program offering such treatment. On one hand there is Japan, that has pioneered the treatment of these malignancies in the world and on the other, over 30/45 countries (excluding Russia, Kazakhstan and Turkey) in Asia do not have a single center offering definitive treatment for peritoneal metastases. Additionally, this treatment is covered by national health care policies only in some of the countries and only for specific indications in most of them. Thus, for a large proportion of the population residing in this continent, such treatment is only available to those who are aware of it and can afford it.
This special issue has manuscripts describing the structure and organization of peritoneal surface malignancy programs in 8 Asian countries (Japan, China, Israel, India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and Singapore). These contributions have been made by surgeons who have been at the forefront of developing the specialty in each country. In addition, there is a description of training programs in each of these countries. Surgical training is a very important aspect of developing a peritoneal surface oncology program. The Japanese school of peritoneal surface oncology, headed by Prof. Yutaka Yonemura runs a structured fellowship course, in conjunction with the peritoneal surface oncology group international (PSOGI) that is available to surgeons from all over the world. China has a national training program under the leadership of Prof. Yan Li that offers structured training and certification to Chinese surgeons for performing the combined treatment. In Israel, Prof. Aviram Nissan has developed a training program for Israeli surgeons and has been heading it for the last two decades. Surgeons from all other countries procure training in Europe, Australia or Japan.
The first part of this special issue is compiled with the idea of creating awareness in India and around the world regarding the progress of peritoneal surface oncology in Asia. We are grateful to all the contributors, particularly, Prof. Yonemura, Prof. Li, Prof. Nissan and Prof. Teo for their prompt acceptance of our invitation and contributions within a short time frame. The second part of the issue has manuscripts reporting the outcomes of collaborative studies from India. In a large and diverse country like ours, it is very important to audit the results of complex surgical procedures and develop research programs focusing on region-specific problems. Given the vast population of the country, even uncommon diseasesare found in relatively large numbers here and there is the potential to contribute to ongoing international studies. Following up on the first special issue focusing on peritoneal surface malignancies that was brought out 3 years ago, this one demonstrates the progress that has taken place in this field in the country in the last decade.
Lastly, we are grateful to Dr. Paul Sugarbaker for his contribution to this special issue and help with the editorial process.
Prof. K.S.Gopinath (Editor-in-chief, IJSO)
Dr. Aditi Bhatt – Invited guest editor
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Disclosures and Conflicts of Interest
The authors have no other disclosures or conflicts of interest