Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Speaking Out About NIH Budget Cuts

I was invited by Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey to speak at the press conference Senator Bob Menendez  was holding after he toured the Cancer Center.  The press conference highlighted the impact cutting the National Institutes of Health budget by 18% would have on researchers, oncologists and patients.

Here are the main points I made during the speech.

I am here today because of cancer research funded by the National Institutes of Health. The successful treatment of my cancer at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey has been key to my survival. I was first diagnosed with stage three ovarian cancer in 2005, one of over 700 women diagnosed that year in NJ. After my surgery, I took part in a clinical research trial and after nine chemotherapy cycles, I was told I was disease free. When the tumor returned in 2008 I had surgery, 6 more rounds of chemotherapy and was once again disease free. The treatments I underwent were available to me because of research supported by the NIH.

In the almost 12 years since my diagnosis I have seen major developments in treating cancers like mine – all due to research funded by the federal government.

In 2006, a study was released that said intra peritoneal chemotherapy offered a survival benefit for women with ovarian cancer. We know this because of NIH funded research.
In 2011, the Cancer Genome Atlas, a project funded by the NIH, identified new mutations linked to ovarian cancer. This knowledge has led to new treatment strategies. We know this because of NIH funded research.

We saw the FDA approve a number of new therapies that specifically target ovarian cancer, reducing toxicity and maximizing anti-cancer efficacy.
We have these treatments because of NIH funded research.

Today work continues to develop immunotherapies to treat ovarian cancer.
We have these new developments because of NIH funded research. 
Progress is being made and now is not the time to reduce NIH funding.

A proposed 18% reduction in funding would stagnate key research and reduce the number of investigators trying to understand the causes of the disease and developing cures for many types of cancer. This in turn will impact the lives of many residents in NJ who have been or will be diagnosed with the disease in the future. 

As a Board member of the local Kaleidoscope of Hope Ovarian Cancer Foundation I have seen the impact grants can make in the career development of young cancer investigators. Many researchers supported by KOH have gone on to receive grant awards from the NIH. The Federal government’s support of cancer researchers, especially young investigators who wish to study rare cancers, is very important to me and other women who may develop gynecologic cancers in the future.

Cancer is not partisan, it does not care what religion you are, what the color of your skin is, what your age or sexual preference is. The only way we as a country will learn how to reduce our risk for disease, find better treatments, find a cure and  support survivors is through cancer research funded by the National Institutes of Health.  Thank you.

Every Day is a Blessing! 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Cancer Support Community and Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey Programs

I want to share with my readers two programs brought to you by the Cancer Support Community of Central NJ and Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey .

A New Support Program:

This other program being offered I took part in a few years ago when I finished treatment for my recurrence. I learned exercise techniques and nutritional tips during Cancer Transitions that I still use today. You should definitely consider joining the 6 week series.

Every Day is a Blessing! Blessed that the needs of cancer survivors are being  addressed.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

SGO Meeting Highlights via Twitter ~ Day 4, March 15

Updated with additional tweets 7:32 pm 3/15/17.

Today was the last day of The Society of Gynecologic Oncology (@SGO_org) Annual Meeting (#SGOmtg). Believe it or not as I type this the snow is falling again.

Here are some tweets I found interesting today.

Patient Preferences:
WRITE Symptoms Study (GOG 259):

Palliative Care:
Ovarian Cancer:

Cervical Cancer

A big shout out to all the researchers, gyn oncs, advocates  and others who tweeted from the meeting.Thanks! 

I look forward to April's  #gyncsm chat (April 12, 2017 at 9pm) recapping this year's meeting.

Every Day is a Blessing!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

SGO Meeting Highlights via Twitter ~ Day Three, March 14, 2017

I am at home watching the snow fall and following Tweets from The Society of Gynecologic Oncology (@SGO_org) Annual Meeting using the hashtag #SGOmtg.

Here are some tweets fromTuesday, March 14,2017 ( Pi day!)

Other sources of Meeting coverage:
Endometrial Cancer
Ovarian cancer
GOG-3003 Compares pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD) to PLD in combination with motolimod (a new type of investigational drug that stimulates the immune system)
     SOLO2 Trial studied LYNPARZA as maintenance treatment for women with BRCA-mutated metastatic ovarian cancer
Uterine Carcinosarcoma

Cervical Cancer
AXAL :Phase 2 study axalimogene filolisbac (AXAL), in patients with persistent or recurrent metastatic (squamous or non-squamous cell) carcinoma of the cervix 
So thankful for a glimpse via tweets of research that can change the future of women with gynecologic cancers.

Every Day is a Blessing!

Monday, March 13, 2017

SGO Meeting Highlights via Twitter ~ Day Two, March 13, 2017

More news from the The Society of Gynecologic Oncology (@SGO_org) Annual Meeting. I am at home and have been following Tweets from the meeting using the hashtag #SGOmtg.

Here are some tweets I found of interest today-  Monday, March 13th.

Endometrial Cancer:

Burnout in Gynecologic  Oncologists

Patient Centered Assessment Tool - Great work done by my friend and fellow advocate Annie Ellis.

IP Chemotherapy

Circulating DNA


Genetic Testing

 GPI -  Glucose-6-phosphate isomerase

Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy

Slides from a Sunday presentation on  PARP

Thanks for all those tweeting from the meeting especially these folks

Looking forward to Tweets from tomorrow's meeting.

Dee Every Day is a Blessing!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

SGO Meeting Highlights via Twitter ~ Day One, March 12, 2017

The Society of Gynecologic Oncology (@SGO_org) is holding it's Annual Meeting March 12th -15th, 2017. I'm unable to attend in person, but I will be following hashtag #SGOmtg to catch the latest news and developments. My plan is to compile noteworthy tweets each day of the meeting and share those in a blog post. 

Here are some tweets I found of interest today-  Sunday March 12th.

So thankful for the advocates, gyn oncs and researchers sharing what they learn via Twitter. 

Everyday is a Blessing! 

#Trials4GynCancerNow - An SGO Campaign to Increas Gyn Cancer Clinical Trials

I wrote this blog post for the #gyncsm blog.  But I thought this topic is so important I needed to share it with my readers and others who may not be on Twitter. 

The SGO (Society of Gynecologic Oncology) is conducting their Annual Meeting March 12-15, 2017. You can follow research presented at the meeting by following the hashtag #SGOMtg on Twitter. Note that we'll discuss SGO Meeting highlights during our April 12th #gyncsm chat

During their annual meeting, SGO will be conducting a social media campaign to advocate for gynecologic cancer clinical trials. #gynscm is please to support this campaign and we hope you will join us.

There has been a steep decline in the number of clinical trials in gynecologic cancer since the restructuring of the NCI-sponsored cooperative groups in 2012.  Information about the campaign can be found in this SGO document.

You can join us as #gyncsm supports this campaign by tweeting the following starting on Monday, March 13th at 9:35am EST:
Women with #gyncancer deserve progress. Fund trials now @realDonaldTrump #Trials4GynCancerNow @SGO_org

Feel free to send additional tweets using #Trials4GynCancerNow to encourage increased funding of NCI trials. 


Dee Every Day is a Blessing