News from the legislators
Medical research scores big in US stimulus bill
There have been fears that medical and scientific research will suffer setbacks due to the recession. It seems that the stimulus package set up by the new US administration has allayed some of these fears. This is partly thanks to Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvsania, a moderate Republican and cancer survivor who proposed an extra $10 billion for the National Institutes for Health (NIH) over the next two years. “The stimulus package is a singular event in the history of science funding,” says John Marburger, former presidential science adviser and head of the Office of Science and Technology Policy under George W. Bush.
News from the pharma industry
Merck Hopes To Extend Gardasil Vaccine to Men
Gardasil is the vaccine that protects women from the strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) that could eventually lead to about 70% of cervical cancers. In men, HPV can also cause genital cancers. The manufacturer of Gardasil, Merck, has been testing the vaccine also in men and reports 90% efficacy. The next challenge is to convince the health authorities and the male population that the vaccine is necessary.
News from the advocacy groups
Gwyneth Paltrow, Courteney Cox Honored At 14th Annual Saks Fifth Avenue’s Unforgettable Evening Benefiting Eif’s Women’s Cancer Research Fund
Gwyneth Paltrow and Courteney Cox were the honorees at the annual Saks Fifth Avenue’s Unforgettable Evening, an event benefiting the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s Women’s Cancer Research Fund (EIF’s WCRF). This is the 14th anniversary of the event. Cox received the Nat King Cole Award for her work with people battling cancer. Paltrow received the Courage Award for her work on cancer prevention.
News from the funding agencies
Komen/ASCO Program Aims To Swell Ranks of Minority Oncologists
The largest breast cancer advocacy group Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) joined forces on an initiative that will hopefully combat the rather clear disparities in cancer care in the US. The ethnic gap have been reported before and is based largely on two issues: some ethic minorities have higher genetic predisposition to certain cancers, yet there are very few minority oncologists around that can help understand the social and cultural needs of minority patients. The $4 million dollar Onoclogy Initiative hopes to increase the number of minorities in the US oncology workforce, thereby helping close the ethnic gap.
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