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Opening new building, President says CCRI helps position Cyprus as a centre for cancer research

The state, recognising the importance of the Cyprus Cancer Research Institute (CCRI), will promote its institutional support, the President of the Republic, Nikos Christodoulides, said at a ceremony for the inauguration of the CCRI “Nicola David-Pinedo” building, at the University of Cyprus Campus in Nicosia

The Institute, he said in his 22 May speech, will be a “beacon” for the country, but also an important nucleus for the development of a national network of research excellence, highlighting Cyprus as a centre for cancer research and patient treatment, as well as an incubator of young scientists, creating bridges of communication and exchange of knowledge with other centres abroad, while offering training opportunities.

The President of the Republic also said that the Institute, aims to promote excellence in the field of cancer research and in the development and utilisation of innovative diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.

The European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, and European Commission Vice-President for Promoting the European Way of Life, Margaritis Schinas, attended the event as well as former Cyprus President, Nikos Anastasiades with his wife, Andri Anastasiades, the Interior Minister, members of the David family, representatives of foreign diplomatic missions, and heads of local authorities of the Nicosia district, among others.

The building was named after Nicola David Pinedo who lost the battle with cancer in 2016. It was constructed with funds from the George and Kaity David Foundation.

President Christodoulides, noting that this was “a selfless act”, said that the CCRI was “an important tool” in the fight against cancer, having the necessary facilities for advanced clinical and translational research.

He said that the state, recognising the importance of the Centre, will promote its institutional support aimed at its better utilisation.

In his speech, the Chairman of the Board of the Cyprus Cancer Research Institute, Professor Constantinos Christofides, said that the CCRI’s first goal was to create the National Cancer Research Network which will bring together all the research groups and units dealing with cancer research in the country.

In his speech, Commissioner Schinas referred to an emblematic project for Cyprus, and one of great importance for Europe as a whole, noting that the scourge of cancer affects everyone. In the EU, he said, 2.7 million people are diagnosed with cancer annually, and that, 40% of cases can be treated through early diagnosis, but that, “unfortunately”, only 3% is invested at European level in health expenditure, in promoting prevention and a healthier lifestyle and that this is something they have to change.

He referred to the policies of the current European Commission in the health sector, and to the EU Cancer Plan and said that with the support of the Horizon Europe programme, almost €400 million was invested in actions related to cancer for the period 2021-2023. He noted that the CCRI was a pan-European center of excellence which puts Cyprus at the heart of this great European effort.

Kyriakides, in her speech, referred to the importance of research and innovation in the rapid progress, as she said, in both the diagnosis and treatment for cancer in recent years. Now, he said, the disease is being detected at an earlier stage and treated more effectively, and this means that today, “there are among us more than 12 million of our fellow humans, with experience of cancer” while that number was growing.

She said that, as the European Commission and herself as Health Commissioner, they continue to work to create the conditions where research and innovation can flourish even more.

George David, said that when they lost their daughter in 2016, they decided, to give hope, in her name, to those who daily battle with cancer and to create an Institute that will promote research and focus on innovation and the fight against the different manifestations of this disease. He said that science today enables even smaller countries with a high standard of education, top caliber scientists and cutting-edge research facilities to contribute to innovative groundbreaking global research, to make advances and revolutionary science. "We hope the CCRI will achieve just this", he said, on behalf of his family.

Rector of the University of Cyprus, Tasos Christofides, in his own speech, said, among other things, that many of the University's research groups were already active in cancer research and that this Centre is now the connecting link between them. He also stated that the Institute was proof of the power and value of interdisciplinarity, of conducting basic and applied research for early diagnosis, treatment, and alleviating pain.

(Source: CNA)

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