Under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in June 2015 a range of areas of co-operation were delineated. These included development of collaborative research projects on population-based cancer control and implementation science; in the areas of basic and epidemiological research, pre-clinical model development, clinical research and oncology care delivery, collaboration to conduct research and training on development of low-cost technologies, diagnostics and combination of existing medications against common cancers and development of existing therapies for novel indications related to oncology.
The areas of co-operation also included discovery and development of new anti-cancer agents; research on cancer screening and early detection, E-health, M-health and tele-health approaches to cancer education, early detection and treatment, health systems research to strengthen cancer care delivery mechanism and build public health capacity for cancer care, development of Cancer Registries; organization of joint conferences, symposia and other scientific meetings of mutual interest; information and scientific exchanges and the sharing of experiences.
Apart from this, collaboration would take place in participation in professional and scientific meetings conducted in both countries and any other area as mutually decided between the Participants if and to the extent consistent with applicable statutes, regulations and policies.
The Participants will establish a Joint Steering Committee (JSC) to further elaborate the details of cooperation and to oversee the implementation of this MoU. The JSC will develop strategic plans for collaboration, recommend areas and topics for joint workshops, develop collaborative research project solicitations, facilitate the expedited review and clearance of collaborative proposals and foster other joint activities to advance research on cancer.
The Indian and U.S. members of the JSC will be identified by the Participants, and a co-chair will be chosen by each side. The JSC may meet regularly via videoconference, teleconference, web-assisted conference, or in face-to-face meetings when both Participants agree.
This Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) establishes the general framework of intended collaboration for promoting and conducting high-quality research to strengthen the evidence base necessary for cancer prevention, treatment and management.
Under it, the participants will to strengthen their collaboration, to promote and develop cooperation in the fields of clinical cancer research and patient care delivery; infrastructure development, training, and capacity building; collaboration in cancer research including basic, translational and survivorship research, epidemiology, prevention, diagnosis, screening, treatment and control, direction of increased collaboration between appropriate Centers of Excellence and Institutions in both countries, as recommended by the Participants; assessment and application of new and cost effective cancer diagnostic technologies for public health benefits and the translation of technologies for global health.
The Joint Steering Committee established under the MoU will meet regularly to review the implementation of this MoU or exchange documents in lieu of such meeting.
The MoU was signed recalling the Agreement on Science and Technology Cooperation between the governments of the two countries, signed on October 17, 2005 that encourages cooperation to promote advances in science and technology and in pursuance of the Joint Statement made during the visit of the Prime Minister of India to the USA in September 2014, which endorsed the first “Vision Statement for the Strategic Partnership”. The statement agreed in principle to initiate cooperative activities to increase capacity in cancer research and patient care delivery, including developing collaborative programs for and with India’s upcoming AIIMS-National Cancer Institute.