The infectious agents and tumors course was held in Vientiane in Laos from 18-29 March at three sites: the Pasteur Institute of Laos (IPL), the Christophe Mérieux Infectiology Centre of Laos (CICML) and the Institut de la Francophonie pour la Médecine Tropicale (IFMT). Organized in collaboration with the Pasteur Institute of Paris and Fondation Mérieux, the course is part of a regional project, ’Cancer and Infectious Agents in Southeast Asia’, initiated by the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie.
Fifteen participants from Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and China took the course, which is designed especially for doctors, pharmacists or scientists who are young graduates of health science universities in Southeast Asia.
The course taught students the epidemiological and clinical relationships between infections and cancers, the role of bacterial, viral and parasitic pathogens involved in the process of oncogenesis and the laboratory diagnostic techniques for infectious agents. The students were also given the foundations for developing strategies for the screening and prevention of cancer caused by infectious agents. This addresses a need for strengthening capacity in the region for screening and preventing this type of cancer.
Local and French experts from major hospital and university centers and research institutes were among the speakers at this course, which lasted two weeks, representing 60 hours of training. The program included theoretical studies, clinical case studies, analysis of articles and practical laboratory work sessions.
A second edition of the course in two years is being considered, following the positive evaluations from the students.