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Cedars-Sinai and South Korea Organizations Sign Memorandum of Understanding

Cedars-Sinai Investigators and South Korean Healthcare and Business Leaders walking down a hallway

Cedars-Sinai Investigators and South Korean Healthcare and Business Leaders to Promote Academic Exchange and Explore Imaging Technologies for Gastrointestinal Cancer

Cedars-Sinai faculty and South Korean healthcare and business leaders are launching a new partnership to advance the treatment of gastrointestinal cancers, which disproportionately affect Korean patients.

Representatives from the medical center and their counterparts from South Korea recently signed a memorandum of understanding that sets the stage for sharing academic research and investigating new therapies for gastrointestinal cancers.

The partnership between Cedars-Sinai, Seoul National University Hospital and healthcare technology company InTheSmart will allow investigators to explore how new augmented-reality imaging systems might be used in gastrointestinal surgeries. The agreement also calls for an educational exchange program to allow physicians and trainees from both hospitals to benefit from one another's experience.

"We're proud to partner with Seoul National University Hospital on this endeavor," said Heitham Hassoun, MD, vice president and medical director of Cedars-Sinai International. "Much like Cedars-Sinai, Seoul National University Hospital is a top academic medical center with an outstanding global reputation. Working together, we can improve our abilities to develop impactful innovations for patients around the world."

Miguel Burch, MD, chief of the Minimally Invasive and Gastrointestinal Surgery program in the Cedars-Sinai Department of Surgery, identified the opportunity for collaboration while visiting Seoul National University Hospital's gastric cancer surgical department, headed by Dr. Han-Kwang Yang. Burch and Yang noted that the incidence of gastric cancer is 10 times higher in South Korea, and that SNUH is at the forefront of surgical treatment globally for this type of cancer.

"Cedars-Sinai is globally recognized for our developments in minimally invasive surgical techniques," Burch said. "This exchange will allow us to share that expertise and gain insight into a variety of gastric pathologies."

The Cedars-Sinai International Health program aims to improve access to healthcare services for patients around the world, and to create global collaborations in the fields of medicine and research.

"International collaborations like this are invaluable to furthering medical research and developing effective therapies," Burch said.