Former Vice President Joe Biden recently addressed students at the University of Pennsylvania on the role of the United States in the quest to cure cancer. Biden joined Penn President Amy Gutmann in a panel discussion along with Otis Brawley, Chief Medical Officer of the American Cancer Society; Nancy Davidson, Director of Clinical Research for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; Carl June, Perelman School of Medicine Professor; and Penn Medicine patient and pancreatic cancer survivor Kim Vernick. Biden recently accepted a position as a Penn faculty member and has been an outspoken cancer research advocate.
During the discussion, Biden commented on the ingenuity of the American spirit and how it can serve as an asset in cancer research. It is this willingness to buck tradition and explore new avenues that will lead to breakthroughs in the treatment of cancer. Additionally, the United States is home to more top quality research universities than anywhere else in the world, which the other panelists agreed was critical to enabling scientific discovery.
Panel Discussed Progress Made, Remaining Obstacles to Discovering Cure
The panel also cited the importance of collaboration, noting that a partnership between researchers and caregivers can generate the best results for patients. The doctors, nurses, nutritionists, social workers, and others who interact with patients suffering from these diseases are a vital component in the fight against cancer. Vernick in particular commented on the importance of the Penn community in her recovery.
Although the panel was largely optimistic about the potential of the U.S. cancer research efforts, the panelists were open about some of the opportunities for improvement. Biden noted that researchers have been keeping their study results to themselves, which can hinder progress. Changes to the Affordable Care Act may also present unknown challenges, as people lose access to care. Biden described the fight against cancer as the last bipartisan issue and has been campaigning to get congressional approval for a new research funding bill.
Biden Advocates for Increased Funding
The fight for a cure is an issue very close to Biden, whose son Beau died of brain cancer in 2015. His role at Penn will be based more in foreign policy, leading the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington. As Vice President, however, he was very outspoken about cancer research, stating that major advancements could be made as soon as within the next five years.
Funding for cancer research is not just a political issue; it is a matter of life and death for those suffering from the deadly disease. Increased funding is especially critical for cancers that are less common, such as mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is caused by asbestos exposure and effects the lining of the lungs, heart, abdomen and chest cavity. The disease is resistant to many common treatments, and there is currently no cure.
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If you or a loved one is suffering from mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, call the Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyers at Shein Law. Our knowledgeable, experienced legal team will thoroughly review the facts of your case to determine who is at fault for your asbestos exposure and fight for the compensation to which you are entitled. With offices conveniently located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we help asbestos exposure victims throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Call us today at 1-877-SHEINLAW (743-4652) or contact us online to discuss your case with a dedicated asbestos lawyer.