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The Minister of Health Chen Zhu said that the Chinese government should encourage private investors to fund cancer research.
Chen made the statements at the US-China Symposium on the State-of-the-Science of Cancer Research and Future Directions for Global Collaboration, which is being held from Nov 4 to 6 in Beijing.
Chen said that China has a broad spectrum of cancer risk. The incidence of cancer in Chinese cities is similar to that seen in Western cities.
In rural areas, the situation is similar to those in developing countries, with gastric cancer being the most prevalent form of the disease, Chen added.
While the ongoing healthcare system reform provides an important opportunity for cancer research — including prevention and treatment — and the China National Cancer Center has also been established, China still needs more private capital invested into cancer research, Chen said.
“The co-organizer of this symposium, the National Foundation for Cancer Research, is a successful civil funding channel for cancer research. Those channels and government investment are complementary,” Chen said.
“Sometimes such channels are even more effective than government investment and corporate investment, because they can bridge those two, and help promising scientists that have difficulties raising funds from the government and companies.”