In Latin American (LA) countries cancer is the second most frequent cause of death after cardiovascular disease. Disease patterns have changed from infectious to chronic, the population is increasing and becoming elderly, and countries lack planning to respond adequately to this epidemiological and socio-demographic transition. By 2025 and increment of nearly 30% of new cases and 35% of deaths from cancer are predicted. Genomic studies have profoundly changed cancer management from improved cancer diagnosis to reformulating cancer prognosis and treatment. However, all these key advances have been mainly concentrated in highly developed nations and little is known about the capacities and needs of cancer genomics in the LA context. In order to evaluate the capacity and development of cancer genomics in LA, we collected available information for all countries in Central, South America and Cuba. Data reviewed included: number of NGS platforms, number of cancer research institutions, research groups working in cancer genetics, publications on cancer genetics and genomics in the last 10 years, educational programs on genomics and related national cancer control policies. Currently, there are a total of 212 NGS platforms in LA. Mexico and Brazil are the countries with more users, and Peru and Ecuador have the fewest. 118 research groups in South America have been working in cancer genetics and started developing cancer genomics related projects. No data on research groups was available for countries in Central America. In the last 10 years, 231 articles in cancer genetic/genomic related topics were published by authors affiliated to LA institutions. Educational programs in genomics are scarce, almost exclusive of graduate programs and few applied to cancer. Twelve countries in LA have national cancer control plans (NCCP). All NCCPs reviewed consider secondary prevention strategies for early diagnosis, opportune treatment and decrease of mortality, areas where genomic analysis could be implemented. Only 5 NCCPs include cancer research as an action plan to increase cancer prevention strategies and reduce both incidence and mortality. Despite the recent advances in introducing cancer genomics knowledge and application in LA, the region lacks development of integrated genomic research projects, improved use of platforms, associated educational programs and health policies that might focus on the most frequent cancers and could impact cancer care.
Citation Format: Sandra Perdomo, Angela Torres, Javier Olivier, Cecilia Frecha, Rosalía Quezada-Urban, Clara Estela Díaz-Velasquez, Felipe Vaca. Is Latin America ready for the use of genomics in cancer care and control [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2017; 2017 Apr 1-5; Washington, DC. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2017;77(13 Suppl):Abstract nr 3263. doi:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2017-3263