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A new start for the Hamdan Medical Journal (HMJ)

In 2011 I was honoured to be appointed the Editor-in-Chief of the Hamdan Medical Journal and to start working with a new team dedicated to raising the profile of this journal and to ensuring that it provides valuable information to medical practitioners and researchers within the Middle East region and around the world.

I would like to pay tribute to Dr Najib Al Khaja, the Founding Editor, for his work on this journal during its launch and the first few years. It is always difficult to launch a new title in a crowded publishing environment, and we have been delighted to receive so many high-quality submissions to date. However, it was agreed that we should take the journal to the next level and relaunch with a modern online platform and a publishing plan to ensure high visibility of the journal and of the research that we will publish. We recognize that we have a responsibility to our authors and readers to ensure that research is efficiently communicated from the author to the reader.

To accompany the relaunch, we made the decision to change the title from the very general Journal of Medical Sciences to the Hamdan Medical Journal. This decision was not taken lightly, but we feel that this new title more correctly reflects the location and origin of the journal and our purpose in publishing – for the Middle East region and the world of medicine.

On my appointment, I met with members of the Editorial Board of HMJ to discuss our vision for the journal. We are agreed that what we want to produce is a journal that provides the medical profession with an overview of selected topics whilst also delivering wide-ranging medical research that will help to improve the knowledge and practice of doctors. Being based in the Middle East, we hope to publish research of particular relevance to this region, whilst also ensuring that what we publish reflects the world of medical research and discovery.

When planning the relaunch we needed to decide on our selected topics for the first year and, not surprisingly, the decision was taken to produce an issue dealing with keynote reviews about the management of breast cancer. Without any question, this is a disease that merits attention as breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in most countries in the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 200 000 American women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year, leading to death from this disease in more than 40 000 women. These numbers correlate with observations from other countries worldwide.

However, there is some good news in that the incidence of breast cancer and mortality from the disease have diminished somewhat in the past decade as a result of increasing knowledge of the nature of this threatening disease.

As there is an on-going international quest to improve prevention as well as treatment of breast cancer, research is dramatically changing, from its roots: we learnt a great lesson from the deeper knowledge of the biology of the disease, and this has led to fundamental changes in the management, more and more involves personalized therapies.

Therefore, it is the goal of this first issue of HMJ to provide our readers with an up-to-date overview about diagnosis as well as treatment of breast cancer, and we were glad to receive fundamental overviews from internationally known experts in this field.

The next topics we will be focusing on are diabetes mellitus and pre- and postnatal medicine, and we already have some high-profile authors working on review articles for us.

However, we must not forget that in order to disseminate as much information as possible to a wide community of health care professionals and researchers, HMJ welcomes submission of original scientific papers, comments from experts about recent publications in top-class journals as well as presentations at conferences. Finally (last but not least), we also hope to include useful case reports that can inform practice.

In a world of an increasingly specialized medicine we hope that this ‘cocktail’ of general new information will be of interest for readers in various fields of health care.

We are looking forward to an exciting future for Hamdan Medical Journal to provide the best information possible to our readers. I welcome comments and suggestions from readers and very much look forward to working on this journal.

Harald Rosen, MD, FEBSQ
Professor of Surgery
Vienna Medical School

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