Thai Society of Clinical Oncology
BIG Voting Representatives: Dr Virote Sriuranpong and Dr Thitiya Sirisinha Dejthevaporn
The Thai Society of Clinical Oncology (TSCO) is a non-profit organisation, founded in 1996, with the primary goals to educate medical oncologists through major cancer centres in university hospitals, and to improve cancer care along with other professional societies involved in treatment and prevention of cancer. Members include 219 registered medical oncologists practicing at various levels of cancer care throughout the country. In addition to advancing education of medical oncology, TSCO is committed to providing education for other disciplines to advance quality of cancer care in Thailand.
Vision and Mission
1. To promote education and medical research in the fields of oncology and related disciplines.
2. To establish /exchange academic experiences and research results among its members
3. To promote unity and mutual assistance among members of the society
4. To coordinate and share ideas with other medical associations and institutions, both locally and abroad
5. To promote and improve the condition of cancer care in Thailand, particularly for the public sector
Thai Society of Clinical Oncology
7th Floor, Royal Golden Jubilee Building, Soi Soonvijai, New Petchburi Road, Bangkok 10310
Interview with Prof Virote Sriuranpong and Dr Thitiya Sirisinha Dejthevaporn
Prof Virote Sriuranpong Dr Thitiya Sirisinha Dejthevaporn
Why did your group join the BIG network? What do you expect from this affiliation?
As BIG has been a very reputable organisation in breast cancer research, being able to join the BIG network is a golden opportunity not to be missed. Our group is very young and does not have much experience in collaborative-type clinical research. We hope that by having a chance to observe and work with BIG, we will be empowered to grow stronger and become a leader in breast cancer research in Thailand, which would help to improve breast cancer care for our people.
What are the biggest challenges for your group? Do you think that these are likely to be shared among other BIG member groups?
There are certainly many challenges that our group is facing. But, one of the biggest challenges is, in my opinion, individualisation, rather than collaboration. This could be considered as one of the Thai cultural attitudes from the past, which has to change, in particular during this time of rapid data exchange and globalisation. So what we are trying to do is to change this mindset so that we can work together and network for a better output which, I think, is very possible. We need to have data from our Thai patients, which are very sparse at present. With that, if those data become available, for example, it may come up that we may need a different approach to treating our patients. Of course, other challenges remain, including a need to improve infrastructure, and to address inadequate funding and manpower. But nevertheless, we are looking forward to building a new culture of research, which should have some impact in the near future.
How are clinical trials run at TSCO? In which clinical trials or research programmes is your group currently involved?
Most of our clinical trials are conducted mainly in academic centres across Thailand. The majority of these are pharmaceutical company sponsored-based trials. Examples include HERA, CLEOPATRA, MARIANNE, EMILIA, BOLERO 2/3, MONALEESA 2 and PALOMA 4. Currently, we are planning to conduct a breast cancer registry based on data from our members nationwide. This will be the first database for us and hopefully will spark some more ideas for future collaborative research.
Finally, what do you consider to be your group’s main achievements so far?
As we have just started the collaborative breast cancer group within TSCO, I think this would be considered the first achievement from our point of view. We have discussed this issue for quite some time and finally we could do it! And a big thank you to BIG for allowing us to join this prestigious network. We do hope that this will bring us a few steps forward towards a fruitful research collaboration.