All Articles Tagged "cancer research"

Family of Henrietta Lacks Reach Settlement, Gains Control Over HeLa Cell Research

August 8th, 2013 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Source(s): Amazon, Wikipedia

Source(s): Amazon, Wikipedia

In 1951, a 31-year-old woman by the name of Henrietta Lacks took her last breath. Unfortunately, she succumbed to the cervical cancer that took residency in her body, but the legacy that she left behind shaped DNA and cancer research as we know it. She was treated for her illness at Johns Hopkins. During one of her radiation sessions, two samples were taken from her cervix without her permission. One sample was swapped from a healthy area of her cervix, while the other was taken from a cancerous area.The cells eventually became known as HeLa immortal cell line and are generally used in biomedical research. The interesting tale is best recounted in 2010 best-seller, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

It is said that the samples taken from Henrietta set the groundwork for the multi-million dollar biomedical research industry, as they allowed researchers to analyze the cells in a way that they couldn’t on living humans. To date, Henrietta’s relatives have yet to see a dime of the millions of dollars made off of her cells, but as of yesterday, they’ve gained a little more control over scientists who are given access to the cells and what they’re allowed to do with them.

The legal battle was a rather legnthy one, but the family reached a settlement with the National Institutes of Health. According to Washington Post, under the new agreement, two family members will retain seats on the six-member committee that regulates scietists and doctors who want to conduct research on the cells. In addition to being including in the decision making,they will receive their due credit in any scientific journals that come as a result of the research being conducted on the cells. According to the Huffington Post, this decision was reached after the family raised concerns about researchers who wanted to go public with Henrietta’s DNA makeup.

“The main issue was the privacy concern and what information in the future might be revealed,” said Henrietta’s grandson David Jr.

“In the past, the Lacks family has been left in the dark. We are excited to be part of the important HeLa science to come,” added Henrietta’s granddaughter Jeri Lacks Whye.

Good for them!


Rockin’ Robin: Top Reasons The World Loves GMA’s Robin Roberts

March 14th, 2013 - By Kelly Franklin
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"Robin Roberts, Oscars PF"


Robin Roberts brings a warm presence to ABC’s Good Morning America as co-anchor with her winning personality, wide smile and bright, almond shaped eyes. For folk who wake up in the morning to a daily dose of Robert’s, they feel a wholesome contentedness, like sipping homemade chicken noodle soup. So when she announced to the world that she was battling MDS (Myelodysplastic Syndrome) and needed a bone marrow transplant, our hearts wretched for her, as if she was a close family member. Her pain was our pain, and we wanted to see her healed and win this battle just as she’d done with breast cancer. In honor of her unwavering perseverance, we count the reasons Roberts holds a place in our hearts.

The CEO of Komen Foundations’ NYC Affiliate Resigns Under Cloud of Controversy

March 21st, 2012 - By madamenoire
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by R. Asmerom

It has been a very rattling year for the Suan G. Komen Foundation – an agency that raises funds for cancer research and treatment. On the heels of its publcly criticized flip-flopping on the Planned Parenthood issue, the CEO of its New York affiliate Dr. Dara Richardson-Heron resigned today.

Earlier this year, Susan G. Komen for The Cure cut funding to Planned Parenthood in lieu of the fact that it was under congressional investigation for using federal funds to deliver abortion services.

Many in the public saw the Komen Foundation’s move as highly political and many protested its policy of cutting breast health programs. Amidst the backlach it received, The Foundation decided to re-fund Planned Parenthood.

The controversy however rattled the organization and strained its leadership.

Abigail Pesta of Newsweek and The Daily Beast reported on the recent resignation of Richardson-Heron who headed one of its most powerful affiliates in terms of fundraising. Although Richardson-Heron stated in a letter to constituents that she “made a personal decision to leave” and “to pursue new career opportunities,” it is believed that the recent controversy highly determined the turn of events:

Eve Ellis, a former board member of the Komen affiliate in New York City, said she believes Richardson-Heron’s resignation is tied to the Planned Parenthood controversy. “I can’t say exactly why she [resigned], but I can tell you that Dara was working behind the scenes before the decision to cut funds to Planned Parenthood, saying, ‘Please don’t do this.’ After the decision, she was working behind the scenes to reverse it,” Ellis told The Daily Beast. She added, “I have the utmost respect for Dara. I was on the selection committee when we selected her—she is an impressive force.”


The Foundation recently canceled two important fund-raising events in New York city due to “concerns about efforts to raise funds in the near term.” In recent weeks, two other high profile executives have also resigned and now there is pressure being put on Nancy Brinker, the founder of the organization, to step down in order to restore the reputation of the agency.  “I really feel that she can salvage this situation by stepping aside,” Ellis told The Daily Beast about Brinker. “I don’t mind if she steps aside as a hero, saying, look what I’ve built, with the help of others. The mission is bigger than all of us. Go out a hero, a martyr. It’s in Nancy Brinker’s hands and in her board’s hands. They are not an independent board—her son is on it. They need to be an independent voice.”

LL Cool J and Wife Simone Smith Raise 100k for Cancer Research

November 10th, 2011 - By MN Editor
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LL Cool J, alongside his wife, Simone Smith, and daughter Italia, raised $100,000 dollars for cancer research.

All of this goodness took place last weekend in Hirshleifers in Manhasset, Long Island at an event called, “Why Fashion Matters.”

LL played auctioneer for the evening while his wife, a jewelry designer, co-hosted.

This event was particularly important to the Smiths as Simone is a cancer survivor.

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