“I’ve been living with melanoma for 7 years.” That’s a statement that, at the outset of her diagnosis, Joanne Maricle would have found surprising. Yet Joanne, who is featured in a video that is part of a new Patient and Advocate Video Series on ASCO’s CancerProgress.Net website, is able to lay claim to it—and all of the memories and milestones of those 7 years. She acknowledges that it didn’t always seem that way.
“When you’re first diagnosed with cancer, the uncertainty of your life is pretty great. You don’t know if you’re going to see your next birthday, you don’t know what you’re going to be here for and what you’re not going to be here for,” said Joanne. Thanks to her participation in three clinical trials, Joanne has seen her son get married, held her first grandchild, and experienced many other milestones with her family that she didn’t think she would have 7 years ago.
New Video Series
Joanne’s story, as well as the stories of four other cancer survivors, are highlighted in a new video series on ASCO’s CancerProgress.Net (www.cancerprogress.net) website. These stories bring to light the importance of clinical trials and the progress being made in cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Each patient speaks personally to the value of cancer research and the impact it has had on their lives.
“Without clinical trials, we’d have no progress,” said Marcia S. Brose, MD, PhD, who is featured in one of the videos and is the Assistant Professor of Otorhinolaryngology at the University of Pennsylvania Abramson Cancer Center. “So essentially, clinical trials are the process where we take what we’ve learned in the lab and apply it to the patients to find out if we can really improve things.…If we didn’t do clinical trials, we would never know whether some of the things we were discovering are going to work or not and [and we would never] develop new therapies. So nothing would actually get done and the patients would have no hope.”
Interactive Timeline of Cancer Treatment
ASCO has long been an advocate for increased funding for clinical trials. To help tell the story of progress against cancer, ASCO launched CancerProgress.Net in 2011. The site is intended as a resource for media, policymakers, oncologists, advocates, and the public. The central feature of the site is an interactive timeline of major milestones in cancer treatment, prevention, and detection, covering 17 different cancer types. The site was developed under the guidance of an ASCO editorial board of expert oncologists.
To help users delve even more deeply into the significant progress made in recent decades, the CancerProgress.Net Editorial Board reviewed hundreds of journal articles and added links to the primary research articles that led to the advances chronicled on the website. These linked references are a useful resource for oncology fellows, training directors, advocates of patients with cancer, science writers, or anyone interested in following the history of progress against specific cancer types. And late last year, three new cancer timelines were added to the site—liver, stomach, and head and neck cancer, bringing the total number of cancer types chronicled on the site to 17. ■
© 2013. American Society of Clinical Oncology. All rights reserved.