Chasing Cancer
On September 18, The Washington Post brought together scientists, doctors, health-care innovators, patients and policymakers for Chasing Cancer, a two-hour summit where experts discuss the latest advances in cancer detection and treatment. They examine how the U.S. health-care system is being shaped by a disease that touches the lives of millions, and provide new insights on addressing the range of challenges cancer presents.
Program Recap
Panel Highlights
Scott Gottlieb, Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, goes in-depth about steps the U.S. government is taking to approve new and innovative cancer drugs, therapies and clinical trials.
Scott Gottlieb, Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, discusses the progress made in gene therapy for fighting cancer, including the FDA’s recent approval of CAR T-cell therapy.
Scott Gottlieb, Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, discusses the FDA’s new initiative to lower nicotine levels in cigarettes.
Scott Gottlieb, M.D.
Commissioner, United States Food and Drug Administration
Dr. Scott Gottlieb was sworn in as the 23rd Commissioner of Food and Drugs on May 10, 2017. Dr. Gottlieb is a physician, medical policy expert, and public health advocate who previously served as the FDA’s Deputy Commissioner for Medical and Scientific Affairs and before that, as a senior advisor to the FDA Commissioner.
Panel Highlights
Emily Whitehead, the first pediatric recipient of experimental gene therapy for cancer, and a group of medical experts examine the latest innovations in battling cancer, including a first-of-its-kind treatment that uses patients' own immune cells to fight the disease.
  • Sep 18, 2017
The Emily Whitehead Foundation's Tom Whitehead shares the emotional story of his daughter's cancer diagnosis. Emily Whitehead was the first child treated successfully with CAR T-cell therapy.
Emily Whitehead was six years old in 2012 when she became the first pediatric recipient of experimental gene therapy for cancer. She joined The Washington Post on stage with her father, Tom Whitehead, who started The Emily Whitehead Foundation.
Emily Whitehead
Patient Advocate
Emily Whitehead was the first pediatric patient enrolled in a highly experimental phase I clinical trial called CAR-T cell therapy at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and became the first child in the world to have her immune system trained to fight cancer. Less than one month after receiving her modified T-cells, Emily was in full remission. As of May 2017, Emily is five years cancer free.
Tom Whitehead
Co-founder of the Emily Whitehead Foundation
Tom Whitehead, a Penelec lineman and Emily's dad, is a co-founder of the Emily Whitehead Foundation. In January 2015, Tom and his wife Kari founded the Emily Whitehead Foundation in honor of their daughter, three-time leukemia survivor and first child in the world to receive CAR-T cell therapy, Emily Whitehead. Tom and Kari share Emily’s story to inspire others to take action in the fight to cure childhood cancer and focus their fundraising and awareness efforts on pediatric immunotherapy cancer research.
Shannon Maude, M.D., Ph.D.
Clinical Director, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Dr. Shannon Maude is an oncologist in the Cancer Immunotherapy Program at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. She is also a Medical Director in the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies at the University of Pennsylvania and leads clinical trials of engineered T cell therapies for childhood cancers.
Nirali Shah, M.D.
Associate Research Physician, National Cancer Institute
Dr. Nirali Shah currently serves as a Principal Investigator in the Pediatric Oncology Branch of the National Cancer Institute. Shah focuses on the implementation and conduct of clinical trials with a specific focus on immune-based therapies, targeting relapsed refractory leukemia, especially in the treatment of patients with post-transplant relapse.
Panel Highlights
A group of doctors and medical experts analyze the latest research and technological advances in cancer prevention, early detection and treatment.
National Cancer Institute’s Acting Director, Douglas Lowy, talks about the Cancer Moonshot, including how long-term, bipartisan support is important for greater advances in clinical trials.
Regina Barzilay, a Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a breast cancer survivor, discusses her own experience with the disease and how she uses data and machine learning to advance detection and treatment.
The Washington Post’s, Fran Kritz asks a group of medical experts and doctors what they wish they could accomplish over the next year in cancer treatment.
Regina Barzilay
Delta Electronics Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Regina Barzilay is a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and a member of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her most recent work aims to bring big data and machine learning methods into cancer care and prevention.
Otis Brawley, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer & Executive Vice-President, American Cancer Society
Otis Brawley, M.D. is the chief medical and scientific officer and executive vice president of the American Cancer Society, where he is responsible for promoting the goals of cancer prevention, early detection, and quality treatment through cancer research and education. He champions efforts to decrease smoking, improve diet, and provide the critical support cancer patients need.
Jill Hagenkord, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer, Color Genomics
Dr. Jill Hagenkord is a board-certified pathologist with sub-specialty boards in molecular genetic pathology. As Chief Medical Officer, Jill is involved in health product strategy, identification and evaluation of strategic business partnerships, regulatory strategy, health information review, and the development of provider and patient support tools. Prior to joining Color, Jill was the Chief Medical Officer at 23andMe, Invitae, and Complete Genomics.
Douglas Lowy, M.D.
Acting Director, National Cancer Institute
Douglas R. Lowy, M.D., was officially named the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Acting Director in April 2015. Prior to his appointment, Dr. Lowy served as NCI’s deputy director from July 2010 helping lead NCI’s key scientific initiatives. His research interests include the biology of papillomaviruses and the regulation of normal and neoplastic cell growth. 
Sponsored Segment
In this sponsored segment, Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.), Chief Executive Officer at American Association for Cancer Research, presents AACR’s 2017 Cancer Progress Report.
  • Sep 18, 2017
Sponsored Segment
In this sponsored segment, Daniel S. Chen, M.D., Ph.D. , Vice President and Global Head of Cancer Immunotherapy Development at Genentech and William Nelson, M.D., Ph.D., and Director of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, discuss new initiatives and progress in cancer treatment.
  • Sep 18, 2017
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