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," he said.
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 patients.
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.