UCSF researchers to participate in World Cancer Summit in Paris

By Leslie Harris

Three UC San Francisco researchers will travel to Paris this week to
participate in the World Summit Against Cancer, an event aimed at garnering
more attention to the prevention and treatment of the disease that kills six
million people worldwide each year.

The summit will take place February 3-4 at Paris City Hall, bringing together
scientists, physicians, patient advocates and government officials from more
than 30 countries. This first-time event is sponsored by Bristol -Myers Squibb,
Johnson & Johnson and Air France.

“It’s clearly going to be an opportunity to call international attention in the
year 2000 to the extent of cancer worldwide and some of the measures we should
be instituting to combat cancer—which in our own county is the second leading
cause of death,” said Virginia Ernster, PhD, professor and associate director
of epidemiology prevention and control at the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer

Ernster will give a presentation on the global impact of tobacco and cancer, in
particular how increasing tobacco use has caused lung cancer cases to spread
from developed countries to developing countries.

The other UCSF researchers attending are Frank McCormick, PhD, director of the
UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center and Cancer Research Institute and Margaret
Tempero, MD, deputy director of the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center.

During the summit, more than 100 individuals are expected to sign the Charter
of Paris Against Cancer at the Elysee Palace. French President Jacques Chirac
will be among the first to sign the charter as will Nobel Prize winner Elie
Wiesel, who will deliver welcoming remarks. The charter calls for: creating an
optimal environment for cancer research and innovation; prevention, screening
and early detection to fight cancer; improving cancer patients’ quality of life
and; recognition that the stigma attached to cancer is a barrier to patients’
well-being and inhibits the creation of additional patient support channels.

The Charter is meant to gather more than a million signatures from
organizations and individuals during the coming year. It will be used in
lobbying and advocacy efforts to increase government funding of research and to
make cancer a priority of governments.  Individuals can also participate in
this global action by signing the Charter of Paris online through the World
Summit webpage: www.CharterAgainstCancer.org that will be launched February 4.

An ecumenical service will be held at the Cathedral de Notre Dame in honor and
remembrance of those who have been affected by cancer or who have died from the

Other U.S. participants include the National Cancer Institute and the American
Cancer Society.