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LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 22, 2024) — The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center has formed an international partnership with the Kyiv Regional Oncology Dispensary (KROD) based in Kyiv, Ukraine. The two institutions will engage in mutually beneficial activities focused on cancer prevention and treatment, research collaboration and personnel exchanges for training and education.  

The relationship between the two cancer centers was made official in April, when UK Markey Cancer Center Director B. Mark Evers, M.D., and KROD General Director Alla Areshkovych, Ph.D., signed a memorandum of understanding outlining the scope of their partnership.

Opportunities for collaboration are focused on teaching, research, staff development, community outreach and clinical care including telemedicine consultations. Potential programs and activities include joint educational, cultural and research activities, exchange of staff members for research, lectures and discussions; participation in seminars and academic meetings and special, short-term academic programs.

“I am excited to welcome KROD as our newest international partner,” said Evers. “This collaboration represents a powerful opportunity to combine our collective expertise and resources to advance cancer care, research, and education for the benefit of patients in Kentucky, Ukraine and around the world."

“We are excited by this collaboration with the Markey Cancer Center. It will greatly facilitate continuing education and research in translational and clinical oncology for physicians and scientists and outstanding clinical care for our patients in Ukraine,”  said KROD Director Areshkovych. “The partnership will initially involve hospital oncologists and researchers, and further expand to training of family medical practitioners who routinely manage the cancer patients after they leave the hospitals so that they continuously receive the best oncology care.” 

The Kyiv City Oncology Center (KCOC) was established in 1947 to provide outstanding oncology care to the population of Kiev (now known as Kyiv). KCOC operates a 400-bed hospital with about 30,000 patients treated annually in the inpatient department of the center. There are over 700 employees at the Oncology Center, 170 qualified doctors and scientific collaborators from 30 different specialties, including many honored doctors of Ukraine, and more than 250 experienced and highly qualified nurses. Operating through KROD, KCOC places emphasis on clinical cancer research, education and treatments that can provide patients with the best inpatient and outpatient oncology care.

Markey researcher Vivek M Rangnekar, Ph.D., played a leading role in bringing the two centers together.

"This international collaboration between the Markey Cancer Center and Kyiv Regional Oncology Dispensary is a new milestone that will facilitate the exchange of educational, scientific, and clinical expertise in oncology," Rangnekar said. "Such an exchange is expected to provide a greatly enriching professional experience and a productive outcome at the participating institutions. Over the years, it will further expand and lead to new discoveries and approaches for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer."

KROD is Markey's third international sister center. Rangnekar, a professor and Alfred Cohen Chair in Oncology Research in the UK College of Medicine, helped forge partnerships with the first two centers: Shanghai First People's Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Center, in China, became Markey's first sister center in April 2010, followed by the Kailash Cancer Hospital in Waghodia, Baroda, India.

Rangnekar has also expanded Markey’s global reach through the Markey Cancer Center Global Cancer Consortium. Launched in 2020, the consortium now includes eight member institutions that collaborate on various research and education initiatives by engaging consortium Chapters in North America, South Asia, East Asia and Europe and partner institutions in Brazil.

The collaboration with KROD is endorsed by the UK Office of Global Health Initiatives and the UK International Center to expand research, education and service learning opportunities for students and faculty and promote health equity around the world.