Conference to discuss role of Chinese medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine is a growing industry and South Australia is emerging as potential key supplier of medicine ingredients.

The role of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in cancer therapy and rehabilitation, and producing complementary medicines from marine sources and herbal plants in SA, will be examined during a conference on Traditional Chinese Medicine for Cancer Rehabilitation, being held at Flinders University in Adelaide this weekend (September 16 and 17).

Brown seaweed is among the marine organisms which wash ashore for collection and analysis on SA’s Limestone Coast.

TCM is now recognised by the World Health Organisation for the value it can play in modern health care.

“South Australia has unique plants and animals with proven health benefits,” says conference co-chair Professor Wei Zhang, Director of the Centre for Marine Bioproducts Development at Flinders University.

“This includes marine plants such as seaweed and microalgae, and marine animals such as sea cucumber, with the potential to be developed as high quality of source materials for complementary medicines, and nutritional supplements for this industry.”

Professor Zhang, who is also an Executive Member of the Specialty Committee of TCM for Cancer Rehabilitation within the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies (WFCMS), says the conference will help shine a light on SA’s potential role in supporting TCM production.

“One of our Flinders programs focuses on the development of Australian marine bioresources for complementary medicines such as Chinese traditional medicines, as well as nutraceuticals and functional foods for patients including cancer and ageing related neurodegenerative diseases.”

The WFCMS Deputy Secretary-in General Dr Chunbo Xu says the organisation brings together TCM academics to improve education, scientific research and promote clinical practice of TCM.

“Traditional Chinese Medicine has a long history in China for the people’s health and TCM for cancer rehabilitation can help the patients in every stage of treatment,” says Dr Xu, who also is President of the Speciality Committee of TCM for Cancer Rehabilitation.

”We hope more and more physicians and patients can know more about TCM, use TCM and benefit from TCM.”

TCM production is one of six significant health industry sectors identified by the SA Government for research and investment in Adelaide.

Mr Marco Baccanti, Chief Executive of Health Industries South Australia, will explain at the conference how the South Australian Government can support the expansion of Chinese Medicine.

The conference’s welcome speech will be given by the Deputy Secretary-in General of WFCMS, Dr Chunbo Xu, with presentations by Flinders University’s Professor Zhang, University of Adelaide Zhendong Centre of Molecular Traditional Chinese Medicine Professor David Adelson and Professor Cory J Xian from University of SA.

Marco Baccanti, Chief Executive, Health Industries South Australia, will discuss how the SA Government can support Chinese Medicine global expansion.

Professor Hongsheng Lin, from Guang’anmen Hospital of China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, China, will chair the conference. Professor Lin, who is President of the Speciality Committee for TCM for Cancer Rehabilitation, will join 50 other international speakers including Professor Chunbo Xu, the Deputy Secretary General of the WFCMS.

Dr Helen Fitton, from Tasmanian company Marinova, will talk about the oncological treatment benefits of fucoidan, a carbohydrate extracted from marine algae.

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