NCI’s Frederick Campus Hosts HHS Secretary, Members of Congress
A congressional delegation representing Maryland joined HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and other department officials on July 22 for a visit to NCI’s campus in Frederick, Md.
Dr. Lawrence Tabak, performing the duties of NIH director, and NCI acting director Dr. Doug Lowy greeted U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen, U.S. Rep. David Trone, Becerra and HHS Region 3 director Dr. Ala Stanford.
The group took part in a roundtable discussion about research at NCI Frederick, along with its support of the Cancer Moonshot initiative. Lowy gave an overview of science underway, highlighting patient-derived xenograft models for rare adult and pediatric cancer types and the Biopharmaceutical Development Program (BDP) for developing therapeutics.
BDP, Lowy noted, includes NCI’s CAR T-cell Manufacturing Program, which supports multi-center clinical trials to advance this approach for difficult-to-treat cancers, including pediatric acute myeloid leukemia and several pediatric and adult solid tumors.
Trone took to Twitter to express his gratitude for the tour. “As a cancer survivor, my visit to @theNCI was personal. The Cancer Moonshot Initiative is a call to America’s best and brightest to pool resources and develop a cure. Thank you to @SecBecerra, @SenatorCardin and @ChrisVanHollen for joining me. Together, we can beat this thing!”
Also participating in the briefing, Dr. Melinda Hollingshead, chief of the Biological Testing Branch in NCI’s Developmental Therapeutics Program, who oversees NCI’s Patient-Derived Models Repository, described the repository program and showed samples.
Afterwards, the group visited Hollingshead’s lab to see a demonstration of the work and to get a look at patient-derived models of cancer under a microscope.
“I applaud @POTUS for reigniting the Cancer Moonshot to defeat cancer,” tweeted Van Hollen. “It was great to join leaders of @NIH & @theNCI to tour labs at @NCIFredOutreach w/@SecBecerra @senatorcardin @repdavidtrone. We made it to the moon &—w/ingenuity & resources—we will end cancer as we know it.”
Stanford, a board certified pediatric and adult general surgeon, also posted about the visit on Twitter: “Full circle moment. I spent yrs in a basic science lab during my surgical training. Now @theNCI understanding how they work towards health cures & equality w/#CancerMoonShot support. Excited to work together for best health outcomes.”