ACS CAN Research Breakfast in Boston raises more than $250,000
More than 230 business, education, medical and research leaders attending the June 17 ACS CAN New England Research Breakfast in Boston heard speakers call for increased funding for cancer research, improved access to health care, and more promotion of early detection and prevention programs.
The annual event, held this year at the Museum of Science in Boston, raised more than $250,000 for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) to support its advocacy efforts.
Keynote speaker Dr. Thomas Lynch, director of the Yale Cancer Center and the physician-in-chief at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale, informed the crowd about the progress made in treating patients with lung cancer and the importance of funding to ensure that progress continues. Diane Legg, an eight-plus-year survivor of Stage IV lung cancer, a patient advocate, and a patient of Dr. Lynch, offered her unique perspective on research. Legg, co-founder of LUNGstrong Inc., founder of Shine a Light on Lung Cancer, and former co-chair of the New England Chapter of Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA), credited Dr. Lynch with giving her the knowledge she needed to make an informed decision about her treatment.
Cancer claims the lives of 580,000 Americans every year, more than the casualties of World War I and II combined. “Any funding cuts to the National Institutes of Health will jeopardize the innovative research at local cancer centers that has resulted in the dramatic progress we have seen against cancer during the past forty years, ” said Chris Hansen, president of ACS CAN.
“Here in Massachusetts, federal funding of research has led to more than $5.6 billion in economic activity and over 34,000 jobs, before sequestration,” said Donald J. Gudaitis, executive vice president of the American Cancer Society New England Division. He noted that "New England, home to many of the nation’s top medical and research institutions, is a major NIH and NCI funding recipient.”
Today, nearly one in 20 Americans is a cancer survivor, thanks in part to the scientific advances made possible by Congressional support. Federal funding for medical research and cancer prevention programs has had a role in every major advance against this disease, resulting in 400 more lives saved from the disease per day than in 1991.
"While the successes we have made in the fight against this disease are real, we know there is strong support among the American public for cancer research to discover prevention and early detection tools that do not yet exist for the most deadly cancers," said Hansen. "With private funding and the government joining together in partnership, ground-breaking research can help us as a nation to rise up and defeat cancer."
Our sponsors included EMD Serono, Platinum Presenting Sponsor; Hologic, Inc., Diamond Sponsor; Purdue Pharma LP, Gold Sponsor; Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company, Silver Sponsor; and ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc., AstraZeneca, Cataldo Ambulance, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Sanofi Oncology, all Bronze Sponsors. About American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy partner of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit acscan.org.
PHOTO FROM LEFT: Chris Hansen, President, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network; Diane Legg; Allene Diaz, Senior Vice President, Head of Oncology, EMD Serono, Inc.; Thomas J. Lynch, Jr., MD; Jim Conway, Director-at-Large, American Cancer Society, Inc., Adjunct Faculty Member, Harvard School of Public Health; Peg Camp, Senior Vice President of Operations, New England Division; and Donald J. Gudaitis, Executive Vice President and New England Division Operating Officer, American Cancer Society, Inc., at the 2013 ACS CAN New England Research Breakfast.