“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
Real change and progress, as Dr. Seuss suggests, starts with passionate individuals who want to make a difference. This is obvious from the dedicated researchers around the world working tirelessly to find new treatments that help patients with devastating diseases like gastrointestinal (GI) cancers. With more than 290,000 Americans projected to be diagnosed with these diseases this year and 50 percent of GI cancer patients expected to succumb to the illness over the next five years, the need for innovative new research and treatments has never been greater.
As a result, PhRMA is proud to support the Ruesch Center for the Cure of Gastrointestinal Cancers at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center as they host a discussion about the current state of GI cancers, ongoing public-private initiatives and what the future holds. Today’s event, entitled “The State of Gastrointestinal Cancer: Charting a Course to Develop Innovative Treatments for Patients,” aims to elevate the conversation around GI cancer research and treatment as well as identify best practices and near-term solutions that help patients and their families. Attendees will hear from patient advocates as well as representatives from academia and the public and private sectors.
This is a small step forward, but the promise for the future is great. Cancer rates have fallen 20 percent since its peak in 1991, and five-year survival rates have increased tremendously. While progress in the research of GI cancers has been slower, there are at least 150 cancer medicines currently in development for treatment of these illnesses.
This is happening because a small group of people care a “whole awful lot” about advancing this conversation and finding a treatment for these devastating diseases. PhRMA has been particularly affected by GI cancers, making our participation in this event with the Ruesch Center incredibly important. A number of staff have been directly affected by these cancers with some employees and their immediate family members currently undergoing treatment.
Our hope is that this will help raise awareness for GI cancers and spur conversation that will result in continued progress. To learn more about the Ruesch Center and this event, visit lombardi.georgetown.edu/GI/.