The Norris Cotton Cancer Center (NCCC) is one of only 28 comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute. Most of these institutions are located in or near the nation's major population centers.
In contrast, the NCCC is situated in the Upper Valley of the Connecticut River, surrounded by the fields, forests and hills of northern New England. For all its rural atmosphere, however, the Upper Valley is also the site of one of the nation's most distinguished education institutions - Dartmouth College and its associated graduate schools of medicine, engineering, and business administration. The Cancer Center is a part of this community and benefits from its rich and varied intellectual resources as well as the natural beauty of its environment.
Leukemia causes 5-10 deaths for each 100,000 in the population each year. About 3% of an cancers take the form of leukemia. Although leukemia is often viewed as a disease of children, where it is the most common cancer, its frequency in the adult population is much higher. Because other cancers occur with greater frequency in adults, leukemia is simply "less visible" in adults than in children.
Major strides have been made in the last 25 years. More than one-half of all children with
acute leukemia are cured by treatment. More recently, important advances have been made in the treatment of acute leukemia in adults. About 30% of adults may be cured with currently available therapies. The percentage of people with leukemia who are cured is increasing steadily as the results of leukemia research are incorporated into new treatments.
Here, over 100 cancer researchers with more than $16 million in annual grant support from the National Cancer Institute, pursue a wide range of research into cancer-its causes, prevention, and treatment. Included in this research are tests of new drugs for treatment ofleukemia, studies of how certain viruses cause leukemia in mice, studies of leukemia genes, and many other research projects that will eventually benefit the patient with leukemia.
Waldron C. Biggs was always welcomed at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center. This invitation is extended to all Knights York Cross of Honour. If you or your family are ever in the area, stop at the Center to see the exacting scientific work in progress.
A Director's Message
I would like to thank the York Cross of Honour Research Foundation for its many years of support for our research in leukemia. In my many annual reports to the foundation, I have provided descriptions of the advances we have made in the treatment of leukemia. Over the last 20 years, the number of adults with acute leukemia who are cured of their disease has risen. For those under 60 years of age we are approaching a 30%cure rate. This is by no means good enough, but it represents remarkable progress in a disease that was previously incurable.
In the future, I see methods of preventing leukemia based upon a better understanding of its causes and new, less toxic, more curative treatments based on methods that reverse the leukemia change in cells. For these advances to occur, there must be continued progress in basis research. Only by areal understanding of the nature of leukemia will we be able to improve prevention and treatment. The financial support of the York Cross of Honour Research Foundation has been of immense help to our investigators as they pioneer new laboratory research that helps us on our way to our goal. The support is wonderful, and we appreciate it.
Director, Norris Cotton Cancer Center
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