Advocacy efforts that lead to Important Research
One of the first fights ECAN ever took on was a push to get Esophageal Cancer included in the ground-breaking cancer genome mapping project of the National Cancer Institute known as The Cancer Genome Atlas or TCGA.
| Dr. Adam Bass
Dr. Adam Bass, Co-Chair of the Gastric Project of TCGA explains why that matters:""The TCGA project to characterize the
genome of esophageal adenocarcinoma is of profound importance. In
recent years, many of the most successful new therapies for cancer have
directly followed better understanding of the critical genetic mutations
that are commonly found in specific tumor types.
esophageal cancer, however, we have woefully inadequate understanding of
the patterns of genomic alterations. This new project has immense
potential to open new areas of biological inquiry into esophageal cancer
development and to identify new therapeutic targets for this deadly
I commend ECAN for their tireless advocacy that helped make this project a reality." Major research findings on Esophageal Cancer are expected to be published by TCGA researchers before the year is out.
The majority of cancer research is paid for by the federal government. That's why ECAN works to make sure EC families have the support to let their senators and representatives know the importance of cancer research as they decide how much to spend each year. Those funding decisions are the biggest factor in how much Esophageal Cancer research will happen in any given year. That is why ECAN makes advocacy for federal research dollars a priority. An organization of our size could never come close to raising the kind of money our advocacy can put into effect. Just look at TCGA as an example.
In the coming year, look to ECAN for more advocacy support and training, more planned efforts to get our message heard. With more funding, we could undertake the complicated work needed to push for specific allocations for Esophageal Cancer research in the federal budget.
Look to ECAN to host a special portal for patients about Clinical Trials. This is important not just to patients, but to the future of research. After the hard-fought efforts to finally get funding for Esophageal Cancer research, some of those studies have been forced to shut down because they couldn't recruit enough participants. ECAN wants to do what it can to address that problem and provide patients with the information and support they need to make decision that are best for them.