Dr. Jill Biden, Ed.D., First Lady of the United States, joined NCI leaders and staff for a special virtual event marking World Cancer Day, February 4. Among the progress highlighted was the work of the NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) in bringing clinical trials to diverse communities. Click here to view the entire event on YouTube.
The First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, Ed.D.
NCI Panel with Dr. Jill Biden
NIH Director Francis Collins, M.D., and NCI Director Ned Sharpless, M.D., welcomed the First Lady, who acknowledged scientists and patient’s role and contributions to cancer research, and thanked NCI staff as well. The theme for this year’s World Cancer Day is “I Am And I Will” with a subtheme of “Together, all our actions matter.”
Worta McCaskill-Stevens, M.D., M.S., NCORP director, spoke about how NCORP engages patients in the research process through the network of community cancer sites, and how important the community sites are to ensuring that clinical research is both inclusive and representative. She noted that more than 40 percent of all clinical trial participants enroll in NCI trials through NCORPs. She also described the recently conducted, “practice changing” clinical trial TailoRx, a breast cancer trial that determined that there are ways to spare some women unnecessary chemotherapy without compromising their outcome.
Additional speakers were: Stephanie Goff, M.D., Staff Clinician in NCI’s Center for Cancer Research at the NIH Clinical Center, who addressed how NCI engages patients in novel approaches to cancer treatment, such as immunotherapy; and Ligia Pinto, Ph.D., Director of the Vaccine, Immunity, and Cancer Program at NCI’s Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, who discussed how NCI has applied the understanding of cancer virology to the current COVID-19 pandemic.