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Komen Detroit and the Karmanos Cancer Institute Applaud Introduction of Bipartisan Cancer Alert Act

DETROIT, April 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Susan G. Komen Detroit Race for the Cure(R), and its local presenting sponsor, the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, join other Komen Affiliates and cancer-fighting organizations across the country today to applaud the introduction of the 21st Century Cancer ALERT (Access to Life-saving Early Detection, Research and Treatment) Act, bipartisan legislation co-sponsored by Sens. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX).


"It's been more than 35 years since our nation first declared war on cancer, and yet we are still facing a significant cancer crisis," said Maureen Keenan Meldrum, Komen Detroit Race chair and director of breast cancer special programs at Karmanos Cancer Institute. "This bill is a key first step towards reigniting the war on cancer. We are especially pleased that this is a bipartisan effort, because we know cancer doesn't care what political party you belong to. We must all work together and let nothing stand in the way of discovering and delivering the cures to cancer."

ALERT stands for Access to Life-saving Early Detection, Research and Treatment:

  • Early Detection -- The ALERT Act will place an emphasis on early detection and promote the discovery and development of biomarkers to detect cancers at the earliest possible stage when cancer is most treatable. The bill also has a particular focus on childhood, rare and high-mortality cancers.
  • Research -- The ALERT Act will strengthen the cancer research process by promoting public-private partnerships and collaboration between government agencies. The bill also has a focus on translational research so new discoveries and breakthroughs in the laboratory make their way to patients' bedsides as quickly as possible.
  • Treatment -- The ALERT Act will improve access to cancer care for underserved populations by expanding access to clinical trials, patient navigation services, and screening and treatment for colorectal cancer.

Forty percent of Americans will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives, including approximately 1.4 million new cases this year alone. Cancer will claim the lives of more than a half million people this year - about 1,500 people a day.

"While the statistics are staggering, the stories behind these numbers are tragic, and should compel us into action," said Ann G. Schwartz, Ph.D., M.P.H., interim president and CEO of the Karmanos Cancer Institute. "It's time to unleash the power of science, technology and medicine to discover new ways to detect cancer of any type as early as possible. As we do, we must also ensure that everyone has access to the screening and treatment options that exist today."

About Susan G. Komen for the Cure(R)

Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen for the Cure and launched the global breast cancer movement. Today, Komen for the Cure is the world's largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures.

Thanks to events like the Komen Race for the Cure, Komen for the Cure has invested $1.3 billion to fulfill the promise, becoming the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world. For more information about Susan G. Komen for the Cure, breast health or breast cancer, visit or call 1-877 GO KOMEN.

About the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute

Based in Detroit, Michigan, the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute is committed to a future free of cancer. The Institute is one of 40 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. Caring for more than 6,000 new patients annually and conducting more than 700 cancer-specific scientific investigations programs and clinical trials, the Karmanos Cancer Institute is among the nation's best cancer centers. Through the commitment of 1,000 staff, including nearly 300 faculty members, and supported by thousands of volunteers and financial donors, the Institute strives to prevent, detect and eradicate all forms of cancer. The Karmanos Cancer Institute was originally established in 1943 as the Detroit Institute for Cancer Research, which then became the Michigan Cancer Foundation. The Institute was renamed the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in 1995 in memory of the late wife of Peter Karmanos, Jr., chairman and CEO of Compuware Corporation. Barbara Ann died at the age of 46 after an eight-year battle with breast cancer. To learn more about the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, its activities, or how you can get involved, visit or call (800) KARMANOS.

Komen Detroit Race for the Cure(R)

The 18th annual Komen Detroit Race for the Cure will take place Saturday, May 30, 2009 at Comerica Park. The event includes a 5K Run, as well as the 5K Walk and One-Mile Walk. Proceeds from the Race support local breast cancer screening, treatment and education programs for the medically underserved in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties (75% net) and the Susan G. Komen Awards and Research Grant Program (25% net). Since Detroit's first Race in 1992, the organization has invested more than $13 million in the fight against breast cancer, and has been a passionate voice for sound breast cancer public policy. Komen Detroit operates year-round as a resource to the community, serving the public, survivors and their families, and all who join us in our efforts to end breast cancer forever. To register, donate and volunteer visit: or call the Komen Detroit Race office at (248) 351-1861 or (800) KARMANOS.

SOURCE Karmanos Cancer Institute
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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