Having Vice President Joe Biden kick-off the post Cancer Moonshot Summit national campaign in Cleveland - what a day!!
The Vice President came to the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center because we proposed a concerted effort to develop interventional science driven community-based efforts to reduce the excessive rates of smoking in Cleveland and to increase HPV vaccination rates across our region.Vice President Biden recognized the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center as the federally recognized entity promoting cancer research in Cleveland. All this is thanks to your good work and collaborative efforts across institutions - without which we would have nothing to show or celebrate.
Our Prevention Research Center has spearheaded the collection of data and studied methods to intervene. Now, all we have to do is develop specific strategies, partner, and receive funding to get this done. It is one of the few times that we announce an activity with governmental official recognition BEFORE we secure funding!
Since we were very restricted in whom we could invite to the Vice President's visit, I want to print my opening remarks (see below).
Thanks for all that you do to support the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Now we shift our focus to the Cancer Center Annual Scientific Retreat July 7-8. Don't miss Liz Jaffee's comments at the kick-off where she will describe her research in immunotherapy and update us on the NCI Blue-ribbon Panel efforts to identify key funding priorities.
Stan Gerson, MD Introductory Comments, June 30, 2016
Thank you, Vice President Biden, for allowing us to be your first stop after the national Cancer Moonshot Summit, and thank you, Greg Simon, executive director of the Cancer Moonshot and your staff for their confidence in us and for bringing us together today for this exciting community link to the Cancer Moonshot initiative. I am Stan Gerson, the director of the NCI-designed Case Comprehensive Cancer Center and University Hospitals Case Comprehensive Cancer Center.
As many of you may already know, yesterday was a milestone in the fight against cancer as physicians, scientists, nurses, patients, family members, Information technology, pharmaceutical and other commercial firms, advocates and foundations gathered at Howard University in Washington, DC, to help create a roadmap to accelerate 10 years of advance in only 5 years to the benefit of our patients and citizens. Vice President Biden advances the notion that it is time to stop cancer as we know it. I was honored to participate in this amazing day. There was passion, urgency and alignment in the rooms and break out sessions. It was truly a remarkable experience. For the first time, I had the sense that many barriers will fall, and that priorities will be reestablished.
Here in Cleveland, as one of more than 270 local summits nationwide, our cancer center led a parallel summit web streamed by ideastrea m, bring together our community to discuss our efforts and priorities in research and prevention.
Today, we reflect on the incredible community impact of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. I have the privilege of leading this incredible collaborative effort among our city's truly amazing medical resources, which include the University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center, the Cleveland Clinic, Case Western Reserve University, and researchers at MetroHealth. Together, we care for over 65% of all cancer cases among the 4.3M citizens of Northeast Ohio. Our collaborative efforts stretch from finding new cancer causing genes in African Americans with colon cancer and leukemia, to finding and beginning clinical trials with new drugs that come from our labs, to creating community-oriented research and interventions that benefit our broad community. Since its inception, we have been in touch with the Office of the Vice President, and have gotten to know Greg Simon and his staff and are delighted to be involved with the Cancer Moonshot initiative.
When Brian Bolwell and I met with Cancer Moonshot Executive Director, Greg Simon, he suggested a collaboration with the Milkin Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University, and the two leads, Lynn Goldman from GW and Monica Hooper here at Case CCC are spearheading an incredible effort to reduce smoking rates and increase HVP vaccination rates. These efforts will reduce the risk of HPV cancers by over 80%, and significantly reduce the risk of over 15 different types of smoking related cancer for our population here in Cleveland. We know the challenges. Our Prevention Research Group has documented smoking rates in Cleveland of 35% and remarkably high rates in adolescents and young adults, whereas our rates of completion of HPV vaccination are alarmingly low - only 11% by age 13.
The program we propose will focus on a community-wide effort to lower smoking rates for at-risk populations that have higher incidences of undiagnosed lung cancer. It will use social media, mobile health, behavioral therapy, and improved EMR tracking to reduce smoking and tobacco use and increase HPV vaccination in Washington DC and in Cleveland. Likewise, we need to increase screening for lung, colon and breast cancer, and help navigate underserved individuals into our cancer center evaluation and treatment sites.
It's an exciting project, one which we will be developing and reporting on in the anticipation that it can be a model for cities around the country.
Vice President Biden's leadership has hit a hot spot that the country. His advocacy, passion and mission has been absolutely remarkable to observe and all of us at this cancer center are completely behind the efforts. Only Joe Biden could have brought together so many for the Moonshot Summit and to seek a significant change in direction and business as usual. Thinking outside the box is the starting point.
Rather than quoting let me introduce the Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden.