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New Resources Raise Awareness about Skin Cancer in Minority Populations

Posted May 17 2011 10:19pm

Portrait of Former NCI Director Dr. John E. Niederhuber Unveiled

Former NCI Director Dr. John E. Niederhuber at the unveiling of his official portrait (Photo by Daniel Sone, NCI) Former NCI Director Dr. John E. Niederhuber at the unveiling of his official portrait (Photo by Daniel Sone, NCI)

The official portrait of former NCI Director Dr. John E. Niederhuber was unveiled May 12 at a ceremony on the NIH main campus in Bethesda, MD. A host of government dignitaries, NCI staff, representatives of the cancer research community, and Dr. Niederhuber himself attended the unveiling.

Dr. Niederhuber, who previously served as chair of the National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB), joined NCI in 2005 as senior deputy to then-NCI Director Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach. When Dr. von Eschenbach was appointed commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Niederhuber stepped in to head NCI.

Current NCI Director Dr. Harold Varmus thanked Dr. Niederhuber for his leadership from 2006 to 2010. "John was uniquely well qualified to be NCI director," Dr. Varmus noted. "He had run an NCI-designated Cancer Center [at the University of Wisconsin], he was a surgeon, he knew how to take care of patients with skill and compassion, and he was a distinguished investigator of immunotherapy for cancer."

NCI Deputy Director Dr. Douglas Lowy and Dr. James Doroshow, director of the Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis , credited Dr. Niederhuber with commissioning the Institute of Medicine review, which led to a report recommending major reforms to NCI's Clinical Trials Cooperative Group Program . He also launched the NCI Community Cancer Centers Program .

Dr. Niederhuber, who is now CEO of the Inova Translational Medicine Institute, said, "I never expected to be NCI director, and I was deeply honored to serve in what is really the best job in the government." He thanked the "very, very dedicated, excellent" NCI staff and advisors for their support and expert advice during his tenure at the institute. "I couldn't have accomplished anything without each and every one of you," he said.

Dr. Philip Castle Wins Flemming Award

Dr. Philip CastleDr. Philip Castle

Dr. Philip Castle, formerly of the Hormonal and Reproductive Epidemiology Branch in NCI's Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG), has been selected for the 2010 Arthur S. Flemming Award for Exceptional Achievement in Federal Government Service. The award acknowledges Dr. Castle's contributions to the epidemiology of the human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer.

While at DCEG, Dr. Castle's research focused on studying the natural history of HPV and evaluating screening and diagnos­tic technologies for HPV infection, cervical precancer, and cervical cancer, including the development and validation of low-cost strategies in resource-limited areas.

Established in 1948 to honor Arthur Flemming's commitment to public service during a career that spanned 7 decades, the awards have recognized outstanding men and women in the federal government. George Washington University and the Arthur S. Flemming Awards Commission present a total of 12 awards annually in three categories: applied science, engineering, and mathematics; research; and managerial or legal achievement.

Dr. Castle will be honored along with the other 11 award winners at an event at George Washington University next month.

New Resources Raise Awareness about Skin Cancer in Minority Populations

NCI's Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG) and Office of Communications and Education (OCE) have developed new educational resources for African American, Asian American, Native American, and Hispanic/Latino audiences to help dispel the belief that only people with light skin are at risk of skin cancer. Although skin cancer is less common among people with darker skin, when the disease does occur in these individuals, it often is detected at later or advanced stages.

A new brochure, titled Anyone Can Get Skin Cancer, discusses how to find skin cancer early, what skin cancer looks like, and how to lower the chance of developing skin cancer. Related content is also available in an NCI Lifelines video and news article. These materials can be accessed in English and Spanish.

View these resources and order a copy of Anyone Can Get Skin Cancer online .

Meet NCI Experts at ASCO 2011

NCI at ASCO 2011 tile

Many NCI staff members will participate in the American Society of Clinical Oncology's (ASCO) 47th Annual Meeting June 3–7, at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL. NCI Director Dr. Harold Varmus will address the opening session on June 4.

Attendees can learn about NCI's programs and Web sites by visiting booth #5017 in the exhibit hall during the meeting. As usual, NCI experts will talk about a wide range of topics. Click here to learn more about NCI-sponsored sessions and activities. Look for highlights from the meeting in the May 31 and June 14 issues of the NCI Cancer Bulletin.

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