February 6, 2004

NCI director to kick off 2004 Cancer Answer series

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Dr. Andrew Von Eschenbach

The leader of the nation’s war on cancer, Dr. Andrew Von Eschenbach, has issued an historic challenge: to eliminate the suffering and death from cancer by the year 2015.

The director of the National Cancer Institute will discuss the ways in which he believes cancer can become a manageable rather than a life-threatening disease and what this challenge means to patients and their families, clinicians, and researchers on Tuesday, Feb. 10.

A discussion at 4 p.m. is titled “Progress with a Purpose: Eliminating the Suffering and Death Due To Cancer” and will be designed for scientists and clinicians.

A second discussion at 5:30 p.m. will kick off the 2004 edition of Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center’s “Cancer Answer Evenings,” a series of informal conversations with cancer experts. Anyone with an interest in the fight against cancer is welcome to attend the discussion titled “NCI Challenge Goal: To Eliminate the Suffering and Death Due to Cancer by 2015.”

As a two-time cancer survivor and urologic surgeon specializing in cancer, Von Eschenbach offers a unique perspective on the cancer challenge in the United States. Before joining NCI, Von Eschenbach directed the Genitourinary Cancer Program and the Prostate Cancer Research Program at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

He became the 12th director of the NCI two years ago. As such, he leads a federal agency of more than 4,000 employees and a fiscal year 2003 budget of nearly $4.7 billion.

Von Eschenbach earned his medical degree from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., in 1967. After completing residencies in general surgery and urology at Pennsylvania Hospital in his native Philadelphia, he served as a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy Medical Corps. He went to M.D. Anderson in 1976 for a fellowship in urologic oncology, and was then invited to join the faculty.

Both events are free and will be held in the eighth floor conference center of the Frances Williams Preston Building, corner of 23rd and Pierce avenues across from the Monroe Carell Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

Reservations are requested for the “Cancer Answer Evening” presentation. Refreshments will be served, and free parking is available in South (formerly Capers) Garage across Pierce from the Preston Building.

For more information or to make reservations, call 936-5855.