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Just two years ago, anyone with cancer in Tuba City, Arizona, on the Navajo Nation, faced at least a three-hour roundtrip for treatment. That did not sit well with Lynette Bonar, CEO of Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation (TCRHCC). In 2019, she and her colleagues opened a cancer-care center, the first on the Navajo Nation.

"In two years," Bonar says, "we've seen more than 400 patients. We now get more than 2,000 visits a year."

The work earned Bonar the Catalyst for Change Award at the 2020 Cancer Community Awards, a program co-developed by Scientific American Custom Media and AstraZeneca.

"We received national recognition of the cancer-care disparities here on the Navajo Nation," Bonar says. Since then, more than just patients have come calling. “There are programs and communities that still don't have accessible cancer care, especially when they live in an area that has high poverty. Other programs want to learn how we got to where we are, how we are decreasing cancer-care disparities.”

Bonar believes it is important to get more Native Americans involved in the research and development of tomorrow's cancer treatments. “Many clinical trials don't pay attention to minorities,” she says. "We want to get more of these people into clinical trials as indicated, so that our biology is included."

In 2020, Bonar and her colleagues received a grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration's Radiation Exposure Screening & Education Program. The Navajo Nation was a hub for uranium prospecting in the 1950s, and most communities had no education on the importance of cancer screening because of the presence of abandoned uranium mines. "Native American people usually get diagnosed with cancer in late stages," Bonar says. "We hope to change that, so you're diagnosed in stage one."


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Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC): The ACCC Community Oncology Research Institute (ACORI) was developed to bring more diversity to cancer research. ACORI will work to establish clinical trials as an accepted standard of care and help achieve equitable cancer care delivery for all patients. Read more.

Credit: Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center

GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer is expanding its scientific leadership board, chaired by Christine Lovly, MD, PhD, at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, as part of their goal to double the five-year survival rate of lung cancer patients by 2025. Read more.

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by Jeff Allen, Friends of Cancer Research

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Fifty years ago, President Richard Nixon signed the National Cancer Act into law to restructure the country's way of dealing with a leading cause of death and suffering. Here, Jeff AllenPresident and CEO of Friends of Cancer Research — describes new approaches to accelerate the testing of new drugs, including advanced applications of circulating tumor DNA. Allen describes recent work as "a paradigm shift to bring treatments more efficiently to those that need them." Read more.


Credit: C. Strong, N. Weedy, R. Smith, S. Matera, and M. Klimek

The 2021 Cancer Community Awards celebrated leaders in cancer care: At a virtual event on October 19, leaders in cancer care gathered from around the country to honor individuals and organizations working to improve the lives of those living with and affected by cancer. Five winners were named. As Dave Fredrickson, Executive Vice President, Oncology Business Unit at AstraZeneca said, the YOUR Cancer Program "brings together and elevates the important work of individuals and organizations at the forefront of cancer care." Read more.

The Hill Roundtable on the 50th Anniversary of the National Cancer Act: On September 30th, senior leaders from the public health community — including Jeff Allen, President and CEO of Friends of Cancer Research, and Omar Perez, Head of Medical Diagnostic Strategy at AstraZeneca — discussed how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed cancer care and what we can expect as oncology continues to advance over the next 50 years. A resulting perspectives paper will soon be available here.

Credit: Washington Post Live

Washington Post Chasing Cancer Panel on the 50th Anniversary of the National Cancer Act: On June 17th, the virtual Chasing Cancer Summit convened leaders from the oncology community to reflect on the progress of cancer research and care. In a sponsored segment, Dave Fredrickson, Executive Vice President, Oncology Business Unit at AstraZeneca, and Leigh Boehmer, Chief Medical Officer of the Association of Community Cancer Centers, emphasized the need for equitable precision cancer care with Fredrickson noting that, "It's an incredible time to reflect on the tremendous progress in oncology research and development, as well as early stage cancer diagnosis, treatment and care." Watch here.

Join the YOUR Cancer LinkedIn Group: This group is a closed forum to help foster interdisciplinary collaboration and break down silos. Attendees consist of previous and existing program partners, as well as representatives from organizations that AstraZeneca collaborates with across the oncology business. To learn more or join this group, click here.

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US-59720 Last Updated 11/21