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Center for Policy Studies

Public Affairs Discussion Group

Is It or Is It Not Cancer? Is That the Question?

Nathan A. Berger M.D. - Hanna-Payne Professor of Experimental Medicine, Director of the Center for Science, Health and Society and Professor of Medicine, Biochemistry and Oncology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Friday November 8, 2013
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Dampeer Room
Kelvin Smith Library
Case Western Reserve University

Dear Colleagues:

"Scientists Seek to Rein in Diagnoses of Cancer," headlined the New York Times on July 29, after a working group convened by the National Cancer Institute "recommended changing the definition of cancer and eliminating the word from some common diagnoses as part of sweeping changes in the nation's approach to cancer detection and treatment." Their report argued that hundreds of thousands of patients receive painful and potentially harmful and expensive treatments for lesions that may never become malignant or are unlikely to ever cause harm. The Chief Medical Officer of the American Cancer Society declared that, "we need a 21st century definition of cancer instead of a 19th century definition, which is what we have been using," while others charged that the "federal government" was looking for excuses to ration care.

What are the merits of the arguments and consequences of any change? We are very glad to be joined by Dr. Nate Berger, longtime Dean of our School of Medicine and a leader in both cancer research and treatment, to discuss the report and the questions it raises.

All best regards,
Joe White
Luxenberg Family Professor of Public Policy and Director, Center for Policy Studies

About Our Guest

Dr. Nathan Berger came to Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine as Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry and Director of the Hematology/Oncology Division in 1983. He built an outstanding hematology/oncology division with research focused on cellular, biochemical, and molecular responses to DNA damage, how these processes differ between normal and transformed cells, how their aberrations result in cell death and malignant transformation and how they can be modulated to enhance therapeutic strategies. With an expanded faculty these programs have lead to the development of important translational initiatives in carcinogenesis and developmental therapeutics. In 1985, Dr. Berger became the founding Director of the Case Western Reserve University/Ireland Cancer Center which was awarded NCI Cancer Center status in 1987 and subsequently was designated an NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Berger is Principal Investigator on two major grants funded by the National Cancer Institute; 1) CASE Center for Transdisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer, and 2) Aging-Cancer Research Program Development. He also is co-director of the Aging and Cancer Research Program at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Dr. Berger is an active researcher whose laboratory focuses on poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase, DNA repair, stress proteins, and developmental therapeutics. He is the author of over 150 papers, reviews and book chapters in the field of DNA damage and repair and developmental therapeutics. He was on the Editorial Boards of Blood, the Journal of Clinical Investigation, the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Seminars in Oncology, Oncology Reports, Cancer Research and the Publications Committee of the American Association for Cancer Research. He wrote the chapter on Alykylating Agents in DeVita’s Practice of Oncology and the chapter on Medical Therapy of Hematologic Malignancies in Handin, Lux and Stossel’s textbook on Principals and Practice of Hematology and coauthored the chapter on Geriatric Hematology in Young, Gerson and High’s Clinical Hematology.

Where We Meet

The Friday Public Affairs Lunch convenes each Friday when classes are in session, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. We usually meet in the Dampeer Room of Kelvin Smith Library. The Dampeer Room is on the second floor of the library. If you get off the elevators, turn right, pass the first bank of tables, and turn right again. Occasionally we need to use a different room; that will always be announced in the weekly e-mails.

Parking Possibilities

The most convenient parking is the lot underneath Severance Hall. We regret that it is not free. From that lot there is an elevator up to street level (labeled as for the Thwing Center); it is less than 50 yards from that exit to the library entrance. You can get from the Severance garage to the library without going outside. Near the entry gates - just to the right if you were driving out - there is a door into a corridor. Walk down the corridor and there will be another door. Beyond that door you'll find the entrance to an elevator which goes up to an entrance right inside the doors to Kelvin Smith Library.

Friday Lunch Upcoming Topics and Speakers:

November 15: The Opportunity Corridor and Beyond: Transportation Issues in University Circle. With Debbie Berry, Vice President of Development, University Circle Inc.

November 22: Economic Effects of Health Care Reform: The Massachusetts Experience. With Mark Votruba, Associate Professor of Economics.

November 29 : No Session - Thanksgiving Break

December 6: TBA
November 4, 2013

If you would like to reply, submit items for inclusion, or not receive this weekly e-mail please send a notice to:

Upcoming Events

Egyptian Politics and the Front Lines of Reporting on the Country’s 2011 and 2013 Uprisings

Journalist Sharif Abdel Kouddous, Form Senior Producer and co-host for the independent TV/radio news hour “Democracy Now!” and a Regular Contributor to The Nation magazine, Wednesday November 6,, 2013, 12:30 p.m - 1:45 p.m., Adelbert Hall, Toepfer Room on the campus of Case Western Reserve University. Sponsored by the Northeast Ohio Consortium for Middle East Studies.

Sharif Abdel Kouddous is a fellow at the Nation Institute and a board member of the independent media collective “Mosireen” in Egypt. Sharif also was the 2012 recipient of the Izzy Award for “outstanding achievement in independent media” for his coverage of the Egyptian revolution. In addition to reporting from across Egypt, Sharif has reported from Iraq, Syria, Gaza, and Bahrain.

He has written for Foreign Policy, The Progressive, Al-Ahram Weekly, and Al-Masry Al Youm, and has appeared on numerous national and international TV programs, including MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,” “The Ed Schultz Show” and “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” as well as on Al Jazeera English.

Interpreting Capitalism Film Series: Garbage Dreams

Introduction to the film by Pete W. Moore, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Political Science at Case Western Reserve University, Monday November 11, 2013, 6:00 P.M. - 8:00 P.M., Wolstein Building Auditorium - 2103 Cornell Rd., Cleveland OH 44106. Sponsored by the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities.

On the outskirts of Cairo lies the world's largest garbage village, home to 60,000 Zaballeen--Arabic for garbage people. The Zaballeen have survived for centuries by recycling Cairo's waste. Following the international trend to privatize services, however, Cairo sold contracts to corporations to pick up the city's garbage. As these foreign companies came in and began carting garbage to nearby landfills, the Zaballeen watched their way of life disappearing. This extraordinary film documents--with often surprising humor--the daily struggles, frustrations, and friendship of three teenage boys born into the Zaballeen trash trade. Sponsored by the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities

November 2013






































About the Friday Lunch Newsletter

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