Integrating into a large European genetic family: the ARICE conference was held in Yerevan

On June 23, the international conference entitled "Cancer Research and Current Molecular Testings in Application" was launched within the framework of the "Armenian Research Infrastructure on Cancer Research - ARICE" program of Yerevan State Medical University named after Mkhitar Heratsi.

The ARICE program is the second Twinning program of the Medical University, one of the main goals of which is to create important infrastructures for molecular diagnostics in the field of cancer research.

"Today's conference is important as thanks to international guests with leading positions in the field of genetics and cooperation with the partners of this project, the university genetics representing Armenia will be integrated into the big European genetic family, so that we can speak on the same level and cooperate with specialists from abroad," welcoming the attendees the Vice-Rector for Science Konstantin Yenkoyan mentioned, highlighting the topics such as molecular diagnosis-based target therapy, immunotherapy, which were included in the program of the event.

Tamara Sargsyan, Head of the Department of Medical Genetics of YSMU, Director of the Center for Medical Genetics and Primary Health Care; presented in detail the goals and importance of the "HORIZON 2020-ARICE" project.

"Cancer research, new molecular achievements and other issues selected within the framework of the conference are important for the whole world, as well as for Armenia, in terms of timely diagnosis, monitoring, and personalized treatment of patients. From the already published scientific articles, it is known that there is a serious problem in our country, which is the death rate due to cancer.

We have invited professional doctors-scientists from different countries of the world who deal with these issues," she emphasized, adding that due to the ARICE program, the Medical University is becoming a leader in the field of cancer research in our country.

According to Professor Sargsyan, the participants are the world's best experts from the USA, Israel, European countries, and the World Health Organization.

Zisis Kozlakidis, Head of the Laboratory Service and Biobank Group of the WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), presented "Cancer research from an international perspective: recent IARC/WHO initiatives ".

Our compatriot Arsen Osipov, a leading oncologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, USA; spoke about targeted therapy and related tests with accent on correctness and comprehensiveness. The second part of the expert's report was devoted to the topic "Democratization of precision medicine". Arsen Osipov also presented the need for immunotherapy in cancer high level, particularly presenting pancreatic cancer and effective ways of its diagnosis.

Davit Babikyan, Associate Professor of the Department of Medical Genetics, spoke on "Current State of Molecular Genetic Diagnostics in Armenia: making goals for the future".

Pantelis V. Constantoulakis, a specialist at the Genotypos Science Labs Center in Greece, presented a report entitled "Molecular oncology perspectives", and Constantinos Deltas, a specialist at the Center of Excellence in Biobanking and Biomedical Research University in Cyprus, presented the modern methods of lung cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Noy Azoulay, a specialist at Belinson Hospital in Israel, presented the report “Hereditary cancer: Illuminating Israel`s Experience in Cancer Predisposition Syndromes”.

Ladislav Pezen, a specialist from Charles University in the Czech Republic, spoke about the activities of the Czech National Oncological Register (NOR) and GLOBOCAN (Global Cancer

Observatory) of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) WHO".

At the end of the conference, Karine Sargsyan, Honorary Doctor of YSMU, founder and director of Graz Medical University Biobank, WHO expert, Scientific Director of Oncobiobanking and Associate Professor of Pathology and Comparative Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, USA; presented the report "Most Outstanding Academic Biobank for Cancer Research".

It should be reminded that in 2020 YSMU won the European Union Horizon 2020 Twinning "Armenian Research Infrastructure on Cancer Research - ARICE" program. The program is dedicated to one of the most urgent health issues - cancer research.

According to those in charge, as a result of the ARICE project, YSMU will become the leader in the field of cancer genetic research in Armenia, and for the first time in our country, a biobank in accordance with European standards will be created.