Joint symposium on "Breast Cancer: current practice and future directions."

7 February 2012

A team from the Faculty of Health Sciences and Faculty of Pharmacy were successful in the 2011 round of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Council of Australian-Arab Relations Grants. The team will travel to Saudi Arabia in February for a joint symposium on "Breast Cancer: current practice and future directions." with King Saud University Vice Rectorate for Health Specialties.

The two-day multidisciplinary symposium will focus on breast cancer imaging, rehabilitation, and medication formulation and safety. It will include presentations from the Sydney team and counterparts at King Saud in addition to workshops sessions with students. The Breast Cancer Research group in the Faculty of Health Sciences is focused on identifying and modifying the painful, long-term effects of breast cancer treatment to improve overall quality of life.

The Medical Radiation Sciences team has presented various new ways to enhance the visualisation and detection of breast cancer. Through effective industrial partnerships it has been instrumental in assessing innovative mammographic and ultrasound technologies.

The Faculty of Pharmacy have researched factors affecting the quality use of medicines and patient safety. Their expertise encompasses an understanding of the physical properties of materials used in pharmaceutical sciences which can recognise and address the complexity of interactions between the administration of potent therapy, such as cancer chemotherapy and other pharmacotherapy, including non-prescription, complementary and alternative medicines.

Sharing best practice in the above areas between Sydney and Riyadh will be a key goal for the two-day symposium. Preparation for the symposium has been extensive, involving regular teleconferences over six months with King Saud colleagues to pinpoint exact areas of mutual research interest. The Sydney team comprises Prof. Patrick Brennan, Prof. Sharon Kilbreath, Clinical Assoc. Prof. Jane Beith, Assoc. Prof. Daniela Traini and Sandra Margon from the Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor, International who has facilitated the organisation of the symposium.

It is hoped that the symposium will pave the way to develop long -term research and teaching relationships between King Saud Health Specialties and the Faculties of Health Sciences and Pharmacy at the University of Sydney.