Tennessee Blacks’ Death Rates of Cancer Explored

April 24, 2009

Today’s Tennessean covers the 2009 Tennessee Comprehensive Cancer Control Coalition Summit, “Passport to the Future: A Cancer-Free Tennessee,” that began at Meharry Medical College in Nashville on Thursday.  Quoted are VICC’s Debra Wujcik and Jennifer Pietenpol.

“[One] problem is the lack of participation in clinical trials by minorities, said Debra Wujcik, director of clinical trials training and outreach at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. About 2 percent to 3 percent of adult cancer patients take part in trials. Minorities make up a minute portion, she said….

“Overall, the Southeast has the highest cancer death rate as researchers persist in looking for reasons, said Jennifer Pietenpol, director of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center….

“‘We have to look beyond a stimulus package,’ she said. ‘Cancer is not waiting for a stimulus package. There is clearly not enough money for every research.’

“It will take a big-picture approach to fight the disease, Pietenpol said. ‘It will not be solved by a single institution, by a single person or by the government,’ she said. ‘It’s going to take all of us.’”

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