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Why I Do Cancer Research

September 18, 2017, by Ted Trimble

Dr. Trimble, Director, NCI Center for Global Health, posing with a cherished photo of his father, Isaac Ridgeway Trimble.

World Cancer Research Day is recognized on September 24, 2017. This day presents an opportunity for all of us to remind the world of the critically important roles research and cancer researchers play in reducing the global burden of cancer. Together with ten other global partners, NCI participated in the planning and launch of this initiative, highlighting the amplified impact of international cooperation in the clinical research arena.

An estimated 14 million people around the world will be diagnosed with cancer this year. More than 8 million people will die. My name is Ted Trimble and I do cancer research to reduce these numbers.

For the first 20 years of my career, I organized national and international clinical trials for women with gynecologic cancers. We saw progress in improving treatment, symptom management, and survivorship for women with ovarian, endometrial, and cervical cancers.

At the National Cancer Institute, we know how important it is that researchers around the world collaborate to accelerate progress against cancer. Six years ago, I helped establish NCI’s Center for Global Health. Our focus is strengthening cancer research around the world by building research partnerships and sharing data. We also work to ensure that the results of our joint research are translated into routine public health practice and patient care.

I know cancer on a much more personal level too. My father died of glioblastoma, one year after he retired. His brother, my uncle Bill, died of lung cancer. He had started smoking cigarettes in college before we realized that nicotine was addictive or that smoking was bad for your health. Two of my mother’s siblings died of cancer. Her older brother, my uncle Tom, died of multiple myeloma about 10 years before we developed effective treatment for that disease. Her younger sister, my aunt Constance, died of complications following debulking surgery for stage III ovarian cancer.

It’s these stories - and more - that that remind me both of how much progress we have made because of cancer research, as well as how much more cancer research I - and we - must still do.

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Dr. Ted Trimble, Director of the National Cancer Institute's Center for Global Health, shares why he has committed his career to cancer research, and why global research and partnerships are key to accelerating progress against cancer.

Dr. Ted Trimble: Why I Do Cancer Research

This is why I refuse to stand still. Follow us @NCIGlobalHealth, and join me in creating your own video or tweet explaining why you support cancer research and researchers. Use these instructions to share your story and include #WorldCancerResearchDay in your post.

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