SUBJECT: MEDICAL RESEARCH, VOLUNTEERISM AND CHARITABLE WORK, AMERICANA
TEXT: Uncovered may be more than one silver bullet, like drugs to attack the usually inactive BP-1 gene. A team led by Dr. Patricia Berg, who directs the George Washington University Medical Center’s breast-cancer research lab in Washington, found the BP-1 gene growing wildly and attacking healthy cells in eighty percent of breast-cancer victims. Earlier this year, the Komen Foundation awarded her $250,000.
AUDIO: BERG (0:33) “We know already that when this gene is active in cells, the cells keep growing and growing. And they are resistant to agents that should kill them. So the Komen Foundation is funding us to try to understand why they have become so resistant to what is called ‘cell death.’ We started to develop a blood test for BP-1. We know that the gene is ‘turned on’ very, very early, and so it may potentially be a marker for early detection.”
TEXT: In the view of JoAnne Zujewski, a top researcher at the National Cancer Institute, events like the Race for the Cure are a stunning success. Already, she points out, five-year breast cancer survival rates have jumped to eighty-eight percent from seventy-five percent a quarter-century ago. But Dr. Zujewski says the idea of one, triumphant “cure” is rhetorical.
AUDIO: ZUJEWSKI AND REPORTER (0:31)
[ZUJEWSKI] “There’s no such thing as a disease called ‘cancer.’ It’s a spectrum of diseases. It would be too simplistic to have just one effort and one pathway. With breast cancer, where you can’t really point to an environmental factor that causes it, we have to focus our efforts in another way in identifying women who are at high risk for the disease so we can potentially prevent it or develop better treatment.”
[REPORTER] “Is your picture of the future that one day, there’ll be a ‘eureka! moment’ -- we can now cure breast cancer based on this discovery?”
[ZUJEWSKI] “I think it’s going to be a patchwork of a number of discoveries.”
AUDIO : RACE CHEERING AND AMBIENCE
TEXT: Good cheer shone through the rain in Saturday’s race. And underneath the smiles and encouragement was a sober resolve that this jaunt through Washington -- or a check made out to the National Race for the Cure -- really meant something in the war to end the deadly disease called breast cancer.