Cancer Research and Control Activities in Japan - Contributions to International Efforts


Since the establishment of the Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research in 1908, Japan has experienced along history of physicians and researchers playing very active roles in both national and international effortsfor cancer control. With the opening of the Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research Cancer Institute andHospital in 1934 and the National Cancer Center in 1962, followed by Aichi Cancer Center in 1964 and thengraduallyt Prefectural Centers across the country, the populace is well endowed with specialist research andclinical facilities. Under the Cancer Control Act, implemented in 2007, these are now being complemented by anetwork of specialist hospitals also involved in efforts to improve training and cancer registration as well asstandardization of cancer treatment. Regional cancer registries have been active since the 1960’s and nationalprograms for cervical and stomach cancer screening were introduced in 1984. Subsequently, such early detectionefforts have been added for the lung, colorectal, endometrial and breast cancers. There are a large number ofacademic scientific societies holding regular research meetings and focusing on all the different aspects of cancercontrol. In addition, there are non-government organizations like the Foundation for Promotion of CancerResearch, the Princess Takamatsu Cancer Research Foundation, the Sapporo Cancer Seminar Foundation andthe Hiroshima Cancer Seminar Foundation, all sponsoring international research meetings and other efforts.Other foundations have been established, for example by patient support groups, and policy research and strategicplanning are now high priorities of the Government. Japan also continues to contribute to international effortsthough its membership in the WHO and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), as well asthrough individual memberships in the Intrnational Union Against Cancer (UICC).