American Association for Cancer Research

Press Releases: 2007

American Association for Cancer Research Bestows Centennial Medals for Distinguished Public Service

May 7, 2007

Senators Specter, Inouye, Reps. DeLauro, Myrick Honored

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In commemoration of 100 years of progress in cancer research, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the world's oldest and largest scientific organization dedicated to cancer research will honor several congressional leaders with Centennial Medals for Distinguished Public Service at AACR's Centennial Celebration Dinner on May 8, 2007 in Washington D.C. Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI), Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC), were chosen for this honor by AACR's Board of Directors in recognition of their significant and sustained contributions in the fight against cancer and their efforts to make cancer research a national priority.

Senator Specter, Pennsylvania's senior senator and a cancer survivor, brings remarkable leadership to the fight against cancer. His personal strength in battling cancer while carrying on his critical duties in the United States Senate is a tribute to his courage and dedication to public service. Specter's past advocacy in support of life-saving medical advances, stem cell research, and legislation to strengthen cancer research, prevention, and treatment truly illustrates progress in cancer research.

Senator Daniel Inouye, who lost his wife of 57 years to cancer just over a year ago, has played an important role in establishing and funding the University of Hawaii's Cancer Research Center. The center, uniquely suited to draw its research from an ethnically diverse population, produces research that sheds new light on how genetic, cultural, dietary and environmental factors influence the incidence of cancer.

During her tenure in Congress, Representative Rosa DeLauro has taken a special interest in health care issues. A survivor of ovarian cancer, DeLauro is a leading voice for cancer research. Her work led to the passage of "Johanna's Law" in the 109th Congress - a law that increases awareness of gynecologic cancers. From her position on the Labor-Health and Human Services-Education Appropriations Subcommittee, DeLauro fights to increase funding for breast and cervical cancer screenings and research.

As a co-chair of the House Cancer Caucus, Representative Sue Myrick has focused much of her work in Congress on advancing cancer-related federal policy and has long been an advocate for community cancer care. Her support and leadership have been vital to ensuring that cancer patients across the country have access to high-quality community-based care.

At 1 p.m. Tuesday, May 8, AACR will hold an event at the Willard Hotel in Washington to commemorate the formation of the organization. On May 7, 1907, eleven laboratory scientists and clinicians met at the Willard to discuss the rapidly emerging field of cancer research, effectively forming the AACR. A plaque with original members' photos and a page from the minutes taken at the 1907 meeting will be installed in the Willard gallery.

Centennial activities will also take AACR members - together with colleagues from Friends of Cancer Research (FOCR) and the Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI) - to Capitol Hill on May 9, 2007, to educate lawmakers about the importance of cancer research. The AACR, FOCR and AACI delegations hope to educate Congressional leaders from both sides of the aisle on the need for continued support of cancer research and advocate for the necessary resources to continue cancer research progress into the next century and beyond.

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The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research is to prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1907, AACR is the world's oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research. The membership includes nearly 26,000 basic, translational, and clinical researchers; health care professionals; and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and more than 70 other countries. AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise from the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through high-quality scientific and educational programs. It funds innovative, meritorious research grants. The AACR Annual Meeting attracts more than 17,000 participants who share the latest discoveries and developments in the field. Special Conferences throughout the year present novel data across a wide variety of topics in cancer research, treatment, and patient care. AACR publishes five major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; and Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. Its most recent publication, CR, is a magazine for cancer survivors, patient advocates, their families, physicians, and scientists. It provides a forum for sharing essential, evidence-based information and perspectives on progress in cancer research, survivorship, and advocacy.

Staci Vernick Goldberg