Tag Archives: cancer research

Working Together for Research

By Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (h.c.), Chief Executive Officer, American Association for Cancer Research

fotiEach year, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is pleased to support and highlight May as National Cancer Research Month. Throughout this special month, the AACR celebrates the accomplishments of the scientific community, advocates for funding increases for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and spotlights the need for continued improvements in patient care.

There’s no doubt that tremendous progress has been made against cancer. People who have been diagnosed with cancer are living longer today than ever before. The five-year survival rate among adults who have had cancer (all cancers combined) is about 68 percent—an increase of 19 percent since 1975. For all childhood cancers combined, the five-year survival rate is 83 percent, an increase of 30 percent since 1975.

But much remains to be done. Almost 1,600 people in the United States die from cancer every day. The toll in medical costs, lost productivity, and human suffering is immense and will in fact grow as the “baby boomer” generation gets older. Continue reading →

World Cancer Day

Today is World Cancer Day. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the U.S., accounting for nearly one of every four deaths. Today, the American Cancer Society, the American Association for Cancer Research  and many others organizations are joining forces to raise awareness and dispel misconceptions about cancer, while encouraging policy makers to make cancer research a national priority.

What can you do?

  • Call and email your representatives.
  • Make some noise. Join the conversation on social media using hashtags #cancerresearch, #WorldCancerDay, #cancer and #curesnotcuts.
  • Take a look at the list of World Cancer Day events for more ways to get involved.

Did you know? Over the past 40 years, mortality rates for childhood cancer have been reduced significantly, dropping 66% during this time period due to early detection techniques and treatment. Learn more, here.

Federal funding for cancer research is in steady decline. Now is the time to tell your representatives that funding for cancer research is not a luxury but a MUST for improving Americans’ health. We need cures not cuts!

New research suggests patient’s fat cells could be used to kill brain cancer

Adipose- derived stem cells. Source: Pendleton, Li, et. al. Mesenchymal Stem Cells Derived from Adipose Tissue vs Bone Marrow:In Vitro Comparison of Their Tropism towards Gliomas.  2013. PLOSONE.

Adipose- derived stem cells. Source: Pendleton, Li, et. al. Mesenchymal Stem Cells Derived from Adipose Tissue vs Bone Marrow:In Vitro Comparison of Their Tropism towards Gliomas. 2013. PLOSONE.

Recent research from Johns Hopkins Medicine that received government support shows that stem cells isolated from a patient’s own fat may be able to deliver new treatments directly into the brain to fight an aggressive brain tumor. The work, done in the laboratory of Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, MD, is a proof-of-principle study that tests the ability of a particular type of stem cell, mesenchymal stem cells, to locate damaged or cancerous cells.

Cancer cells, particularly those in glioblastomas, the most common type of brain tumor, often break away from the main tumor and relocate to another area of the body.  While neurosurgeons like Quinones-Hinojosa can carefully remove these tumors, radiation and chemotherapy are often insufficient to kill these run-away cancer cells. The promising results from this basic science study suggest that in the future, mesenchymal stem cells isolated from the patient’s own fat tissue can be modified and put back into the body to seek out and destroy isolated cancer cells in the brain after surgical removal of the tumor. Continue reading →

May is National Cancer Research Month

Research saves lives. Fundamental research into pediatric cancers has led to a 66% decrease in mortality for these cancers over the past 40 years. Research!America is proud to recognize May as National Cancer Research Month in conjunction with our many members who are working to find and fund cures for all types of cancer. Research institutions like the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center are just a handful of Research!America members who are working in this vital area of research. Continue reading →

Member spotlight: The Melanoma Research Alliance

By Wendy K. D. Selig, president and CEO of Melanoma Research Alliance

The Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA), a unique non-profit organization that funds the most promising melanoma research, was founded in 2007 by Debra and Leon Black under the auspices of the Milken Institute. In just six years, MRA has become the largest private funder of melanoma research and has awarded almost $48 million to 116 different research programs worldwide. MRA-supported projects are dedicated to accelerating progress toward the prevention, detection and treatment of deadly skin cancer.

In order to raise awareness of this disease and the need to invest in research for live-saving treatments, we are participating in Melanoma Awareness Month during the month of May. Investment in melanoma research is still sorely needed—the incidence of the disease is increasing across all segments of the population, including young adults and children. Melanoma is the most common cancer among men and women aged 25-29 and takes one life in the U.S. every hour.

Continue reading →

Medical research is at risk

April is National Cancer Control Month, and there is no better time to step up and advocate for lifesaving medical research. A recent report from “PBS NewsHour” highlights the crippling effects of sequestration on funding for cancer research. The story of the Riggins laboratory is just one example of labs all over the country having to slow or stop promising research due to a lack of funding.

According to the American Cancer Society’s 2013 report, more than half a million Americans are expected to die from cancer this year alone. Continue reading →