NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research NewsNCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
April 20, 2004 • Volume 1 / Number 16 E-Mail This Document  |  Download PDF  |  Bulletin Archive/Search  |  Subscribe

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DCTD Hosts Malignancies and Immunodeficiencies Conference
NCI's Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis will host the 8th International Conference on Malignancies in AIDS and Other Immunodeficiencies: Basic, Epidemiologic and Clinical Research. The conference will be held April 29-30 at the Natcher Conference Center on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Md. It will focus on basic and clinical research on the viral oncology, immunology, genetics, epidemiology, pathogenesis, drug discovery, early diagnosis, and clinical investigation of malignant diseases in AIDS and other immunodeficiency states, including organ transplantation. The meeting will feature invited lectures from more than 25 faculty members from across the country and around the world, as well as oral and poster presentations of submitted abstracts. This conference is for all clinical and laboratory investigators, postdoctoral researchers, students, physicians, health care workers, and others who are involved, interested, or participating in malignancy research in AIDS and other immunodeficiencies and in tumor virology. Online registration is available at For more information, contact Jaime Kenyon at

2004 Spring Research Festival at Frederick
NCI-Frederick, in partnership with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command at Ft. Detrick, in Frederick, Md., will sponsor the eighth annual NCI-Frederick/Ft. Detrick Spring Research Festival. The festival will be held at Ft. Detrick May 12-13. At the festival, resident scientific staff, including students, technical support staff, postdoctoral fellows, and investigators, will present posters describing their research to the joint scientific communities. In addition to scientific poster sessions, the festival will include a health and safety exposition; educational information; and safety, scientific, and commercial exhibits. For more information and guidelines for poster submission, visit

Minority Cancer Awareness Week

New Data Support the Need to Address Cancer Disparities
New data released last week by NCI's Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) program show that several minority groups continue to have higher incidence and death rates for a number of cancers than white Americans. The release of the data marks the National Minority Cancer Awareness Week, a national observance that is now in its 18th year.

"It is not acceptable that persons from communities of color tend to have cancer diagnosed at more advanced stages and that once diagnosed they have poorer cancer-specific survival," said NCI Director Dr. Andrew C. von Eschenbach. "The fact that any segment of the population bears a larger cancer burden is something we must strive to eliminate."

A sampling of the new SEER data reveals the extent of the cancer burden minority populations now face.

African American men, for example, have the highest rates for new cancers and cancer deaths from all cancer sites combined. Among Hispanics, children have lower cancer survival rates than white or Asian American children. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have the highest liver cancer death rates. And similar disparities exist for American Indians and Alaska Natives, such as high incidence rates of kidney cancer with lower survival for these women.

"National Minority Cancer Awareness Week is about reaching out to minority populations and trying to increase their understanding of the risks that cancer poses, as well as the important steps they can take to reduce that risk and the prevention and treatment services available to them," said Dr. Harold Freeman, director of NCI's Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities (CRCHD).

NCI staff are personally delivering the awareness message to communities. Dr. Freeman will be featured in an interview running this week on American Urban Radio Networks radio stations across the country. And last Saturday, Dr. Michaele Christian, associate director of NCI's Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program, spoke in South Bend, Ind., about cancer and African Americans at an annual health conference sponsored by a local hospital.

NCI and other Health and Human Services agencies have made reducing cancer health disparities a top priority. In addition to the CRCHD's creation in 2001, reducing disparities has been earmarked as one of the seven strategic initiatives launched as part of the NCI 2015 challenge goal to eliminate suffering and death due to cancer. NCI leadership also is reviewing the recommendations presented in a Progress Review Group report released last month on combating cancer disparities (see March 30 NCI Cancer Bulletin).