cancer

By Olivera J. Finn and Robert E. Schoen An excerpt of an op-ed by Olivera J. Finn, PhD a distinguished professor and chair of immunology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Robert E. Schoen, MD, MPH professor of medicine and epidemiology at Pitt’s School of Medicine and Graduate School of Public Health published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette . Olivera J. Finn, PhD Robert E. Schoen, MD, MPH Every day, physicians and scientists see the hope and promise that medical research brings to patients and families. For nearly 70 years, research funded by the National Institutes of Health has increased understanding of the causes of disease, contributed to longer life expectancy and...
This post is an excerpt of a Bloomberg column by Albert R. Hunt on how sequestration hurts medical research, especially in the fight to better understand’€”and hopefully cure’€” Alzheimer’€™s disease. Albert R. Hunt Many Republic ans, and Democrats, never thought the automatic across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration would take effect. After all, they might produce dangerous, if unintended, consequences such as potentially bankrupting the U.S. health-care system, along with millions of families. Typical Washington hyperbole, right? It actually is happening under sequestration, which kicked in three months ago, a product of America’€™s political dysfunction. Because the cuts...
By Robert Weiner and Patricia Berg, PhD You can’€™t sequester cancer. You can only hurt the research to treat and prevent the diseases, and stop the treatments themselves. That is the message of 18,000 scientists gathered for the American Association for Cancer Research’€™s annual convention in Washington. A rally for medical research with those thousands of scientists ’€” usually wonky researchers poring over their microscopes ’€” was held on the grounds of the Carnegie Library across from the Washington Convention Center. In rhythm to drumbeats, the scientists became political advocates as they chanted after each speaker, ’€œMore progress! More hope! More life!’€ Cancer is neither...
Dear Research Advocate, Senators Casey (D-PA) and Burr (R-NC), recently honored with our Whitehead Award for Research Advocacy, have joined forces again with a bipartisan letter calling for a strong commitment to NIH funding in FY 14. Please take a moment now to urge your senators to sign on to this letter. And say thank you to Senators Burr and Casey for being champions for research! In past letters, I’€™ve written about attempts by Congress to micromanage and in some cases, attack critical components of our nation’€™s research portfolio. The social sciences have been targeted time and time again despite the immense value of these programs and the return on investment they represent. In...
The much-contested question of whether or not a gene can be patented is under judicial scrutiny once again. The U.S. Supreme Court listened to oral arguments today regarding Myriad Genetic’€™s patent of two genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, which have been linked to increased cancer risk in both women and men. The American Civil Liberties Union is challenging this patent on behalf of a group of researchers, medical groups and patients. The timing of the hearing is rather serendipitous, just one day after the 10 th anniversary of the completion of the Human Genome Project. The Human Genome Project, a jointly funded venture from the Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health, has opened...
The president’s FY14 budget proposal offers a lifeline for medical research to replace sequestration’s damaging footprints. The budget includes $31.3 billion for the National Institutes of Health, as well as increases for the Food and Drug Administration and National Science Foundation. These increases would take our nation in the right direction, but we’re concerned that budget proposals from Congress – one from each of the House and Senate – unlike the president, fail to reverse sequestration. Sequestration, 10 years of across-the-board spending cuts, will drag our nation down from its leadership position in research and development as other countries aggressively ramp up investments,...
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 ’€œ 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. Cancer ranks as the second most common disease, exceeded only by heart disease. Some aspects of cancer risk are inherent, such as having a faulty gene...
On March 24, World Tuberculosis Day , the Lancet published a series of papers on the need to combat drug-resistant tuberculosis. Cases of drug-resistant TB are on the rise, posing a growing threat to the health of populations in all parts of the world. The series consists of six papers written by international experts in the tuberculosis field, including Professor Alimuddin Zumla, Director of the Centre for Infectious Diseases at the University College London Medical School and Dr. Marco Schito at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Some papers focus on TB diagnostics, highlighting advances such as the Xpert MTB/RIF test as well as the dire need for new affordable and...
Scientists at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center , a Research!America member, have successfully treated a handful of leukemia patients with cutting-edge immune cell therapy. This therapy, similar to previous trials at the University of Pennsylvania and the National Cancer Institute, modifies the patient’€™s immune cells so that they recognize and kill the cancer cells. This experimental therapy provides a new avenue of treatment for patients who have undergone all of the traditional treatments like chemotherapy without achieving remission of the cancer. Read more about this exciting breakthrough in this New York Times article . The study’€™s senior author, Michael Sadelain, MD, PhD,...
Just released data from the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) details the final amount to be cut from federal research program budgets as sequestration goes into effect. The full details are available on the updated Research!America sequestration fact sheet , though previous projections were relatively accurate as compared to these final numbers. Cuts to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration will be higher than previously expected, with a combined loss of $593 million dollars for FY13. That amount is roughly equivalent to ensuring the safety of new medical and biological products at the FDA and programs that focus on prevention...

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We have health challenges in this country that science will provide answers for if given the chance and we haven't given science that opportunity
Mary Woolley, President and CEO, Research!America