Cancer can be a many-headed monster, and finding the cure for it is a herculean effort. The Washington Post held an event on November 13, 2018 entitled “Chasing Cancer” in which scientists, physicians and leaders in the field of oncology convened to discuss the ever-elusive cure for cancer. The program opened with a discussion of the latest advancements in cancer treatment technology and research. Norman E. “Ned” Sharpless, MD, Director of the National Cancer Institute, stated, “Everything that we do successfully in a patient with cancer has come about as a result of a clinical trial, so the ability to do clinical trials rapidly and efficiently at low cost is critical to making progress against cancer.”
Scott Gottleib, MD, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, noted that the FDA is working to remove the obstacles that are preventing clinical trials from being conducted in smaller communities. “We have some specific policies we’ll be rolling out to make it less burdensome on providers to try and democratize clinical trials,” he said.
Laurie Fenton Ambrose, President and CEO of Lung Cancer Alliance, shared the organization’s partnership with the YOUR Cancer initiative in a panel sponsored by AstraZeneca. YOUR Cancer strives to keep patients and their loved ones the focus of cancer care as well as connecting patients and their communities with research projects. “The more that we can use every means of connecting to our community, the better the community will be. It’s about informing them, educating them, supporting them empowering them,” she said.
Other notable panelists include Peter Bach, Director of the Center for Health Policy and Outcomes for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Jennifer Bryant, Senior Vice President for Policy and Research for PhRMA, and Sean Parker, Founder and Chairman of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy.