Champalimaud Centre for Amazonian Ocular Oncology inaugurated in Manaus
The Champalimaud Foundation, the São Paulo Institute of Study and Research, the Federal University of São Paulo Medical School and the Piedade Cohen Foundation have joined together for an innovative project in the Amazon basin.
In the context of the Champalimaud Foundation’s C-TRACER 3 (Brazil), the end of 2013 saw the inauguration of the Champalimaud Centre for Amazonian Ocular Oncology, in Manaus, Brazil.
In the creation of this Centre, the Champalimaud Foundation and the Department of Ophthalmology of the Federal University of São Paulo Medical School were joined by two institutions equally committed to the development of cutting-edge scientific projects in the area of vision: The São Paulo Institute of Study and Research and the Piedade Cohen Foundation.
This Centre, and its outstanding medical team, have the mission of offering ocular health care free of charge to the population of the Amazon Basin (consultations, surgeries and other types of oncologic treatment). A particular emphasis is placed on early diagnosis of vision disorders and the development of research projects in the area of ocular cancer.
As mentioned by Foundation President, Leonor Beleza, in the inauguration ceremony, this Centre has a special relevance to the activity of the Champalimaud Foundation as it “enlarges the reach of the interventions of C-TRACER in Brazil, a country which António Champalimaud had a strong relationship with and which formed part of his history. The Centre will work in strong collaboration with C-TRACR 1, in India, and C-TRACER 2, in Portugal, to promote world-class research with clinical applications in the area of vision. This represents one more step in our main objectives, placing investigation at the service of clinical practice.”
According to Rubens Belfort Jr., Professor at the Federal University of São Paulo and the Director of C-TRACER 3, in Brazil, “the whole Amazon region is in need of specialised oncologic centres. The available data points to the existence of a high number of ocular cancers: melanomas, retinoblastomas in children, and various tumours, probably related to the high solar luminosity of this region.” For Prof. Belfort Jr., the Champalimaud Centre for Amazonian Ocular Oncology, “brings a unique opportunity for the people of the Amazon region to access ocular oncologic health care,” and “meets a need that has been felt for many years”, allowing also the development of scientific and research projects.
With the opening of this Centre, C-TRACER 3 (Brazil), launches its research programme and specific area of intervention – ocular oncology – in strict collaboration with C-TRACER 1 (India) and C-TRACER 2 (Portugal), particularly in joint projects designed to promote ophthalmic investigation.
For the Champalimaud Foundation, which launched the C-TRACER network in 2008, the Champalimaud Centre for Amazonian Ocular Oncology represents an expansion of its programme of translational vision research and constitutes one more important step in the prevention and eradication of ocular diseases.