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We All Have a Role to Play in Turning the Tide Against Cancer

In recent years, the pace of scientific discovery and medical progress has transformed our approach to the prevention, early detection, and treatment of cancer. Today, new targeted therapies are being used to pinpoint specific cell mutations and pathways leading to cancer’s progression and to stop tumor growth with fewer side effects. And, innovative approaches to harness our body’s own defenses have led to the development of new cancer vaccines and immunotherapies that attack the disease.

With nearly 14.5 million cancer survivors in the United States, there is no doubt that we have made great strides in our fight against cancer.

However, we’re at a critical juncture in that fight. In this age of personalized medicine — where treatment decisions are driven by a patient’s specific type of disease at the molecular level — it is critical that scientists, clinicians, patients, and caregivers have access to the information and tools they need to guide approaches to research and to make informed decisions regarding care. We also face the added challenge of sustaining innovation in cancer research and care when under pressure to contain healthcare costs.

In 2012, together with the Personalized Medicine Coalition (PMC) and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), Feinstein Kean Healthcare (FKH) convened the first Turning the Tide Against Cancer Through Sustained Medical Innovation national conference in Washington, D.C., to consider the status and future of innovation in cancer research and care. By bringing together leaders from across the cancer community, we aimed to identify and build support for policy pathways to accelerate progress and improve patient care in an era of healthcare cost containment.

Over the past two years, the initiative has provided a platform for an active dialogue on how we can support the shift to patient-centered research and care and address the value and cost of cancer care. An article published in Clinical Cancer Research co-authored by several Turning the Tide Against Cancer Advisory Committee members, an expert roundtable organized with our co-conveners, and the development of an Issue Brief in collaboration with a working group of experts from the cancer community, helped to frame and refine the research and regulatory policies necessary to sustain progress against cancer.

This week, PMC, AACR, and FKH will host the second national conference in Washington, D.C., with the goal of reconvening the cancer and health policy communities to take steps in advocating for specific policy and regulatory solutions to help create a more patient-centric, high-value system of cancer research and care. Only with input from all stakeholders can we move toward meaningful policy solutions that will sustain innovation and help us realize the full potential of scientific discovery.

I invite you to watch the video below to learn more from our chairman, Marcia A. Kean, M.B.A., about the current cancer research and care landscape and FKH’s role in the Turning the Tide Against Cancer initiative.

Click here to watch additional video interviews with Edward Abrahams, Ph.D., president of the Personalized Medicine Coalition, and Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (hc), CEO of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Follow @FKHealth for live updates on October 9 and join the discussion with #T3cancer.