you on behalf of all of us here for your support and sharing in this partnership.
There is hardly anyone who is better suited to start us off today than the Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach. Dr. von Eschenbach, prior to the time that he was scheduled to become the Director of the National Cancer Institute, was poised to take over at the American Cancer Society as president-elect, so he has been detoured from that duty but, I understand from Dr. Seffrin, not permanently excused. Dr. von Eschenbach is a man whose professional life long has been committed to the very objectives that we are talking about today, and that he has championed in his term as the Director, which he began in the year 2001. It is a great privilege for me to have this opportunity to welcome and to introduce my friend, our Director of the National Cancer Institute, Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach.
Andrew von Eschenbach, M.D.,
Director, National Cancer Institute
It is a great honor for me this morning to come as the Director of the National Cancer Institute, and begin with very sincere congratulations to you, to the Institute of Medicine and the National Academies, for the work, effort, and the product you have created with regard to the report on prevention and early detection. I believe this report will serve us well, not only as a road map for the future, but also as a means of bringing us together to walk that journey collaboratively and cooperatively, to be certain that in fact, we achieve all of the outcomes that we know are within our grasp.
This morning, I would like to spend the next few minutes with you, talking about that journey into the future, specifically talking to you about a destination that I believe is within view. I will talk about it from the standpoint of a research agenda that can lead us to that end point. I know that John Seffrin and others can talk very eloquently about this from the perspective of a cancer control agenda, but of course, both of these agendas are woven together into a very synergistic and complementary pattern. I would like to begin with a vision for this future destination. I think it was summed up very well at a recent important ceremony in the White House celebrating cancer survivorship, and the fact that we have moved from three million cancer survivors in this country around the time that the National Cancer Act was signed in 1971 to now over 9.6 million cancer survivors alive within the United States today.