(Bruce Boyajian for The Washington Post )
(Bruce Boyajian for The Washington Post )
(Bruce Boyajian for The Washington Post )
(Bruce Boyajian for The Washington Post )
(Bruce Boyajian for The Washington Post )
(Bruce Boyajian for The Washington Post )
(Bruce Boyajian for The Washington Post )
(Bruce Boyajian for The Washington Post )
Chasing Cancer
Decades of progress in revolutionary oncological research and innovative medical treatments has yielded a steady drop in cancer mortality rates in the United States over the last 25 years. But daunting hurdles still remain for the pioneers who aim to eradicate the disease.

On June 18, The Washington Post brought together the nation’s leading health policymakers, top doctors and researchers for a live event examining the latest developments in cancer prevention, detection and treatment. We addressed topics such as the government’s drug approval policies and breakthroughs in pediatric oncology, and heard inspiring stories from cancer survivors and the loved ones who support them.
Childhood Cancer Crusade: A Spotlight on Pediatric Cancer Policy
During this year's State of the Union address, President Trump called on Congress to allot $500 million towards pediatric cancer research over the next 10 years. Sen. Jack Reed, who has written law on where the money should go regarding childhood cancer, share his assessment of the President's plan.
Highlights
President Trump has called on Congress to allot $500 million towards pediatric cancer research, but the budget would also cut funding for the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of Health, a move Sen. Jack Reed says would be “disruptive” to pediatric cancer research and could inhibit any advancements.
  • 6 days ago
Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), ranking member on the Senate Armed Services Committee, says the Senate is still waiting for a nomination from the President following news that Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan’s confirmation hearing had been delayed amidst an ongoing FBI background check and as the Pentagon has been fielding press reports about his personal life. “We’re still waiting on nomination from the President…Anything that would happen would probably be weeks from now even if the nomination came up within the next few days.”
  • 6 days ago
Full Segment
With President Trump calling on Congress to allot $500 million towards pediatric cancer research over the next ten years, we’ll get an assessment from two key senators who have written law on where the money should go regarding childhood cancer. They will also discuss other federal health-care policies affecting cancer patients.
  • Jun 18
Inside the FDA: The New Commissioner’s Game Plan
The Acting FDA Commissioner lays out his agenda for approving life-saving cancer drugs, innovative therapies and clinical trials. and managing product safety. He will also discuss drug pricing, disparities in access to care and the most exciting breakthroughs in cancer prevention, detection and treatment.
Highlights
When asked whether he thinks there is something the FDA could do to help reduce the number of cigarette smokers in the U.S., Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Ned Sharpless said he doesn’t think there’s one straightforward answer to the problem. ‘The things we’ve been doing, in terms of education and policy, to try and discourage use have been effect. The question remains would other forms of nicotine replacement therapy, beyond just gum and lozenges, would those really help smokers quit?...We have a couple of proposed rules related to flavored cigars, nicotine levels and menthol ban’
  • 6 days ago
Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Ned Sharpless says while he understands some of the factors that fuel the high cost of cancer drugs, he is very concerned about the burden the expense has on patients and the American healthcare system. “I know people who had to make a choice between their anti-fungal medicine after a bone marrow transplant and their rent. Nobody should be forced to make these kind of choices.”
  • 6 days ago
Full Segment
The Acting FDA Commissioner lays out his agenda for approving life-saving cancer drugs, innovative therapies and clinical trials. and managing product safety. He will also discuss drug pricing, disparities in access to care and the most exciting breakthroughs in cancer prevention, detection and treatment.
  • Jun 18
Ned Sharpless, M.D.
Acting Commissioner, U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Norman E. “Ned” Sharpless, M.D., became Acting Commissioner of Food and Drugs on the afternoon of April 5, 2019. Previously, he was confirmed as the 15th director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) on October 17, 2017. Prior to his NCI appointment, Dr. Sharpless served as the director of the University of North Carolina (UNC) Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, a position he held since January 2014.
Interviewed by Laurie McGinley
Health and Medicine Reporter, The Washington Post
Sen. Jack Reed
(D-RI)
In 1996, Jack Reed was elected as Rhode Island's 46th United States Senator. Reed works every day to help make the federal government more efficient, effective, and responsive to the people of Rhode Island. Reed has authored a trio of laws to improve children’s health care and ensure our youngest patients get the help they need when they need it: the Conquer Childhood Cancer Act, a law that expands research programs aimed at improving childhood cancer treatments with the goal of ultimately finding a cure for childhood cancer; the Trauma Care Systems Planning and Development Act to establish critical care networks nationwide so that more paramedics and first responders can get trauma care patients to the right doctor at the right time; and the Better Pharmaceuticals and Devices for Children Act (BPDCA) to help ensure drugs and medical devices are specifically tested, labeled, and proven to be safe and effective for children.
Interviewed by Paige Winfield Cunningham
Health Policy Reporter and Author of The Health 202 newsletter, The Washington Post
Cancer Chronicles: Finding Light In Life’s Dark Moments
She was diagnosed with incurable cancer at 35. He is the father of a toddler going through chemo. Together, they’re a powerhouse of wisdom and unshakable strength. Acclaimed writers Kate Bowler and Wajahat Ali examine how cancer has shaped their lives as parents and people of faith.
Highlights
Author Kate Bowler was diagnosed with incurable cancer at 35, and New York Times Contributing Opinion writer Wajahat Ali is the father of a toddler going through chemo. Both share how a cancer diagnosis affects patients and their families. “You have to admire the resilience and the victories,” Ali said.
  • 6 days ago
Writers Kate Bowler and Wajahat Ali say while they know the looks and and uncomfortable questions they field from strangers come from a good place, there are some things that are better left unsaid when talking to someone with cancer or their loved ones.
  • 6 days ago
Full Segment
She was diagnosed with incurable cancer at 35. He is the father of a toddler going through chemo. Together, they’re a powerhouse of wisdom and unshakable strength. Acclaimed writers Kate Bowler and Wajahat Ali examine how cancer has shaped their lives as parents and people of faith.
  • Jun 18
Wajahat Ali
Contributing Opinion Writer, The New York Times
Wajahat Ali is a playwright, lawyer and a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times.
Kate Bowler, PhD
Associate Professor of the History of Christianity in North America, Duke Divinity School
Kate Bowler, PhD, is an associate professor of the history of Christianity in North America at Duke Divinity School. She wrote the New York Times bestselling memoir, Everything Happens for a Reason (and other lies I’ve loved) (Random House, 2018) after being unexpectedly diagnosed with Stage IV cancer at age 35—a book Bill Gates lauds as “belonging on the shelf alongside other terrific books about mortality” and includes on his must-read list. Dr. Bowler subsequently staged a national conversation around why it felt so difficult to speak frankly about suffering through her popular podcast, Everything Happens. She has appeared on NPR, The TODAY Show, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and TIME Magazine.
Sponsored Content from Tesaro:
An in-depth look at a movement that aims to expose the emotional toll of “watch and wait” for women with recurrent ovarian cancer by encouraging an informed and proactive approach to managing a devastating disease.
  • Jun 18
Scott Foley
Actor, "Not on My Watch" Ambassador
Scott Foley is a recognized television, film and Broadway actor, with credits including ABC’s Whiskey Cavalier and hit drama Scandal, critically-acclaimed WB series Felicity, and Wes Craven’s Scream 3. Scott has also written, directed and produced a movie titled Let’s Kill Ward’s Wife. What many do not know is that one of Scott’s biggest roles happened off-screen and at an early age, when he acted as a secondary caregiver to his mother during her time with recurrent ovarian cancer. Scott helped his mom through multiple recurrences for four years before losing her to the devastating disease when he was 15. To help get the word out, Scott has partnered with TESARO, an oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company, on "Not on My Watch," a nationwide movement that seeks to inform and empower women with recurrent ovarian cancer and their care partners to take proactive steps in managing the disease, like talking to their healthcare provider about maintenance therapy.
Robin Cohen
Robin Cohen, CEO and Co-Founder of the Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation (SROCF)
Robin Cohen is the CEO and Co-Founder of the Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation. She is a member of the Oncology Nursing Society, the Society of Gynecologic Nurse Oncologists and the Cambridge Who’s Who. She has been recognized as one of the 75 Greatest Living Philadelphians and is the 2016 recipient of the Cindy Melancon Leadership Award. She has served on the board of directors of the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance and is now the Vice President of the Board of the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance. Robin is also a board member of the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition.
Full Program
On June 18, The Washington Post brought together the nation’s leading health policymakers, top doctors and researchers for a live event examining the latest developments in cancer prevention, detection and treatment. We addressed topics such as the government’s drug approval policies and breakthroughs in pediatric oncology, and heard inspiring stories from cancer survivors and the loved ones who support them.
  • 20 hours ago
About Washington Post Live
Washington Post Live is the newsroom’s live journalism platform. Top-level government and business leaders, emerging voices and newsmakers discuss the most pressing national and global issues of the day.
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    TESARO is an oncology-focused business within GSK, devoted to providing transformative therapies to people bravely facing cancer.
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