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Playing Well With Others

By PearlPoint Nutrition Services June 18, 2013Pearls of Wisdom Blog

From a young age, we are shaped by society to get along, cooperate, and play nicely with our friends and classmates a valuable life lesson that really doesn’t change much as we become adults and move into the workforce.

Our PearlPoint team just got back from the American Society for Clinical Oncologists (ASCO) conference in Chicago. Just like the playground of our younger years, this 4-day conference was exciting, crowded, and filled with important players. The subject was cancer, the not-so-carefree focus of our attention, but we were all still eager to see who was there and what advancements and innovations would be shared.

One of the most promising advancements at this year’s conference centered around immunotherapy. Research oncologists are testing drugs that stimulate a person’s immune system in order to break down proteins that shield the cancer cells.At a Best of ASCO presentation, early results from the studies are showing success with advanced non-small cell lung cancer patients.There have also been promising outcomes with other tumor types.If the positive results of shrinking tumors using this type of treatment continue through the next phase of trials, then the next step will be to submit for FDA approval. This is a significant and exciting discovery of finding better therapies for cancers that have been resistant to existing therapies. It is undoubtedly the product of much collaboration.

This year was our organization’s third year of an increasingly committed presence at ASCO. Like other nonprofit organizations attending, we watched the hustle and bustle of approximately 35,000 participants rush to presentations, offer their products and services, and pursue partnerships all from our 10-foot x 10-foot booth. It was a fascinating community. We, too, joined in the frenetic energy, sharing our organization’s amazing mission, embracing our professional acquaintances, and meeting new friends with whom we can partner.

The cancer landscape is a crowded one. Very few settings point this out as well as ASCO does. While there are so many honorable nonprofit organizations doing honorable work, we came away believing we need to do more to work together. With limited funding and attention, we could do more if we consolidated our messages, broke down silos of very specific interests, and turned redundancy into clarity. After all, isn’t this all about the person facing cancer who needs clear direction and support, rather than options too numerous to decide upon?

Stay tuned for more from PearlPoint as we put our belief to action. Who is ready to meet us on the playground?

Blog Author: Susan Hosbach, CFRE
PearlPoint Cancer Support Staff

Author PearlPoint Cancer Support Staff

PearlPoint Nutrition Services is a program of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).

More posts by PearlPoint Cancer Support Staff

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