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Strengthening Our Resolve to Eliminate Cancer

ASCO: The Annual Meeting that Strengthens Our Resolve to Eliminate Cancer

 

Every year, I look forward to attending the ASCO Annual Meeting that brings together over 40,000 in the field of oncology. I cannot help but be inspired by the many people who have made it their life’s work to investigate and develop new approaches to treat cancer.

This year’s meeting in Chicago from May 31 to June 4 is particularly meaningful for me.  Its theme is “Caring for Every Patient, Learning from Every Patient,” and our team will present exciting data in prostate cancer that speak directly to this idea. 

The data focus on men living with a form of prostate cancer with poor prognosis and a median survival of less than five years. Our clinical study enabled patients to participate, regardless of the extent of their disease, risk, or whether they had received prior treatment. Innovation is crucial in cancer research, and I am proud to be part of a team at Janssen that thinks through a patient’s entire journey and is driven to understand how our medicines can address an area of unmet need.  Our goal is to meet the needs of patients across the prostate cancer disease continuum.   

Earlier in my career I was a practicing nurse, and the experience of being with a patient when they received a cancer diagnosis is one that remains with me today. The opportunity to work on new treatment options to help many more patients, motivated me to move into cancer research --- where I now work with a dedicated team determined to improve outcomes for patients faced with such life-altering diagnoses.

I have not only experienced this journey professionally, but also personally, as my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer when I was in college, and all three of my sisters have battled cancer more recently. Unfortunately, our story is not unique, and one we share with many families.  I understand how life-altering a cancer diagnosis can be for the entire family, and it’s something that fuels my passion to develop transformational new medicines.  Meetings like ASCO renew my confidence that the cancer research community is working hard and making advances to help families like mine come through a cancer diagnosis. I hope that one day these efforts will prevent future patients and families from ever having to hear the words, “I’m sorry, it’s cancer.”

With that knowledge as my driving force, as our prostate cancer data are being presented at ASCO, my team and I will take a moment to honor the people who participate in our clinical trials. It is their courage that inspires us, and we understand patients are counting on us. We’re pleased with the strides we have made in advancing treatments for prostate cancer, but we’ll never settle until this disease is prevented or cured in the future.