Congratulations to the young investigators who won the first John Quale Traveling Fellowship Awards to attend the Fourth Annual Bladder Cancer Think Tank.
BCAN Hosts Research Meeting
In August, BCAN hosted the 4th Annual Bladder Cancer Think Tank, the only annual scientific conference in North America focused solely on bladder cancer. The primary objective of this meeting was to identify areas in which physicians and researchers who are devoted to improving the understanding and treatment of bladder cancer can focus future efforts for collaborative research.
The 2009 meeting, which focused on “Novel Therapeutics and Strategies for Muscle Invasive and Advanced Bladder Cancer,” was a tremendous success. There were more than 70 attendees – urologists, oncologists, pathologists, radiologists, basic scientists – representing almost all of the major academic medical institutions in the United States (and several in Canada), along with survivors, bladder cancer advocates, and representatives from our pharmaceutical sponsors.
There was great excitement and enthusiasm at our final working dinner as five different small “working groups” presented their proposals for launching and completing collaborative projects within the next two years. These projects include reviews of treatment patterns, survivorship support, biospecimen banks, data collection and management, and collaborative clinical trials. Planning is already underway for the 5th Annual Bladder Cancer Think Tank meeting, to be held in August 2010.
Online Support Community
The website continues to be an essential resource for the bladder cancer community, and our online support community is taking on a life of its own. (Click on the orange button on your left to get to the support community.) Now with over 800 members, this is an active group of survivors and caregivers who provide support, guidance and advice from a patient perspective to one another. Read in the Volunteer Corner section of the newsletter about the gatherings that have been organized by volunteers from our online community.
Bladder Cancer Awareness Day
Given the success of these local gatherings, BCAN is organizing a national “Bladder Cancer Awareness Day” to be held on a weekend in July. We will be asking volunteers to host similar picnics, events, or activities at different locations around the United States and Canada. This type of grassroots effort should help gain some national media attention. To volunteer to help with a local event and local media attention, please e-mail Janet McIver, BCAN’s Information and Outreach Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Newest Scientific Advisory Board Member
We welcome Dr. Deborah Bradley, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Duke University, to our Scientific Advisory Board, and thank her for participating as our expert for this issue’s Ask the Doctor column.
On a Personal Note
I continue to be amazed as to how time rushes by and soon we will be entering the holiday season. May each of you be surrounded by love and hope each and every day.
Diane Zipursky Quale