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According to this article in today’s Times, the grant system used to fund cancer research leads to a lot of relatively trivial studies getting funding while more ambitious projects languish, since they are less likely to succeed. Apparently the guy who discovered how to use herceptin to treat HER2 positive breast cancer patients (like me) couldn’t get funding and was eventually given money by Revlon of all people. This is staggering to me because herceptin is an amazing thing – HER2 positive patients used to have among the worst prognoses of breast cancer patients, and now they have among the best. After 3 treatments, herceptin has noticably shrunk my tumor – I can barely feel it now, and it used to feel like a golf ball.

I’m always a little skeptical of things like Walk-a-thons and the stupid baby-pink sugar cookies, sweatshirts, coffee mugs, bumper stickers, and who knows what that I see everywhere I go. But maybe that’s actually a helpful way of getting funds to actually help find a cure. (But please, don’t ever buy me any of that stuff; I will hate that color for the rest of my life.)

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