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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cancer Issues 2010: A Preview

Linda Topping Streitfeld by Linda Topping Streitfeld 0 comments

We’ve wrapped up the selection of most of our topics for an educational program on Cancer Issues, which takes place here in Washington, D.C. October 17-20

Our program covers some important traditional territory, like the latest research on breast cancer, and we’ll hear about some newer topics.

Dr. Minetta Liu, who teaches oncology at Georgetown, is going to talk about the significance of circulating tumor cells and the CTC Chip, which is a new way to detect and measure those cells.

Another scientific topic is micro RNAs, which are tiny molecules that appear to have an important role in cancer development. And we’ll get the latest on potential uses for the HPV vaccine.

This year, I thought it would be important to talk about the financial burden of cancer, and we’ll do that through two discussions – one with a longtime cancer survivor, and a second with a reporter who has a deep understanding of how people with cancer, and their families, will be affected by the new health-care legislation.

This is the fourth time we’ve presented this program on cancer, and we want to bring back some of the topics that journalists have found most interesting – end-of-life-issues were a hot topic last year with all the hoopla about “death panels.” In the last few days, palliative care has gotten some good press; one new study indicates that people who receive palliative care actually live longer. We’ll offer an aspect of that story, with Dr. Aziza Shad from Georgetown, who will talk about palliative care for children with cancer, and Dr. Carol Taylor, who is a nurse, a Ph.d and a well-known expert on bioethics.

Finally, two topics especially for journalists:

Dr. John Marshall is the chief of oncology at Georgetown University Hospital, and he has a really clear presentation on the process of drug development and clinical trials, which is essential to understand when you’re writing on this topic.

Jeremy Moore is at the American Association for Cancer Research, and he is an expert on how to write clearly and accurately about articles in scientific journals.

All of our programs are on the record. Our fellowships cover almost everything – airfare, lodging, ground transportation and most meals. The program is funded through an educational grant from Pfizer, Inc.

If you’d like to know more, check out last year’s agenda and recordings from our speakers, all available on our website. And keep checking this space – I’ll update when we’ve locked in all of our speakers.

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