WASHINGTON--Before a group of reporters assembled in the White
House Rose Garden, President Clinton recently announced three
new federal cancer programs that he predicted would "bring
us closer to a cure and improve the lives of those who do survive."
President Clinton announced additional funds for studies aimed
at deciphering the genetics of breast cancer; a new Web site on
the Internet to provide the public with information on breast
cancer (see box); and the opening of the Office of Cancer Survivorship
at the National Cancer Institute.
Congress increased NCI's budget 5.8% to $2.4 billion in fiscal
1997, which began Oct. 1, 1996. In his press conference, President
Clinton said that $30 million from the increase in funds would
go to expand genetic studies of breast cancer. "This step
represents a major increase in breast cancer genetic research,"
In a separate statement, NCI Director Richard D. Klausner announced
that Anna T. Meadows, MD, would head the new Office of Cancer
Survivorship, which officially began operations within NCI's Division
of Cancer Treatment, Diagnosis, and Centers on Nov. 1.
"We need to look at questions beyond the acute diagnosis
and treatment of cancer--beyond prevention," Dr. Klausner
said, "and deal with the many research issues that survivors
of cancer face in their daily lives so that there will be a better
quality of life for all." The new office will explore such
issues as long-term medical and psychological effects of cancer
treatment, factors that predispose cancer survivors to the development
of second malignancies, reproduction and fertility problems following
cancer treatments, and the genetic factors that confront cancer
Early in November, Dr. Meadows convened a 2-day meeting of experts
from a number of disciplines to discuss and help set a research
agenda for her office.
Dr. Meadows joined NCI on a part-time basis in July and will continue
her relationship with the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
and retain her title as professor of pediatrics at the University
of Pennsylvania Medical School, the NCI statement said.