How Competition Can Compromise the Cause for Kidney Cancer Patients

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Guest editorial in Kidney Cancer Journal co-authored by leading oncologist calls for unity among cancer advocates.

We must remember that cancer research is not performed in a vacuum

The current issue of Kidney Cancer Journal features a guest editorial co-authored by Janice P. Dutcher, MD, Associate Director for Clinical Affairs, Our Lady of Mercy Comprehensive Cancer Center, Bronx, New York, and Professor of Medicine New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York.

Dr. Dutcher, one of the nation's leading kidney cancer researchers, along with William P. Bro, CEO of the Chicago-based Kidney Cancer Association (KCA), call for unity among cancer advocates. The editorial explains that some disease advocates have begun lobbying the federal government to earmark funds specifically for kidney cancer. However, this approach is not only contrary to the KCA’s position, it is also fundamentally at odds with the congressional directive for NIH funding, as stated in the Appropriations Committee’s report. Dutcher and Bro argue that broad-based medical funding is better for everyone.

“We must remember that cancer research is not performed in a vacuum,” says KCA chairperson Paula Bowen, of New York. “Research in one cancer area often leads to discoveries in another.”

According to the editorial, a good example of this principle in action is the drug gemcitabine. First approved by the FDA for treatment of pancreatic cancer, it has since shown promise in reducing the size of renal cell tumors. By forming a unified front and working toward common goals, kidney cancer advocates can effect significant contributions in the fight for a cure that may ultimately benefit the entire cancer patient population.

Kidney Cancer Journal is available online at http://www.kidneycancerjournal.com. The website includes an archive of past issues.

The Kidney Cancer Association is the only global organization serving patients with renal cancers. It reaches more than 70-thousand constituents in 102 nations. Its mission is the eradication of death and suffering from kidney cancer.

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Celeste Kelley
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