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AstraZeneca Press Release: Change Makers Across the Oncology Community Recognized at 2019 Cancer Community (C2) Awards

By: AstraZeneca September 3, 2019

AstraZeneca Press Release: Change Makers Across the Oncology Community Recognized at 2019 Cancer Community (C2) Awards

Winners each receive a $50,000 award to donate to a cancer non-profit

(WILMINGTON, Del., May 3, 2019) – The oncology community gathered together last night to celebrate the winners of the first Cancer Community (C2) Awards. These awards recognize individuals and organizations who have created positive change in cancer care. The awards – a partnership between AstraZeneca and Scientific American Custom Media – includes nominations submitted by organizations from across the cancer ecosystem and participation from an esteemed panel of third-party judges.

“There is so much progress happening in cancer care, but it takes a village to make real change,” expressed Olivier Nataf, Head of US Oncology, AstraZeneca. “We recognize our responsibility to go beyond our medicines and amplify the inspiring work happening to make a difference in the lives of people affected by cancer”.

The awards received more than 90 nominations in its inaugural year in four categories:


C2 Catalyst for Change

Nominees in this category made a difference in bringing science and innovation in cancer care to patients in underserved communities. Dr. Keith Winfrey, Chief Medical Officer at New Orleans East Louisiana Community Health Center won for his work boosting screening rates for colon cancer from three percent to 80 percent over the course of six years.

Other finalists in this category included Dian “CJ” Cornelissen, Founder and Director Emeritus, METAvivor whose focus is on metastatic breast cancer patients, and Curémonos, a program established to eliminate barriers and disparities encountered by underserved women, particularly Latinas, affected by breast cancer.


C2 Catalyst for Care

Individuals and organizations recognized in this category focused on making the experience of cancer care easier for patients. This year’s winner was the Centers of Excellence Program from the GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer. The program makes high-quality lung-cancer care accessible to patients, regardless of geographic location, by bringing a standard of care to community hospitals comparable to that provided by large medical and academic centers.

The two additional finalists included John and Christine Lederer, Co-Founders of Zaching Against Cancer Foundation – a group dedicated to providing financial, logistical and complementary therapies through partnerships with hospitals and oncology centers – and Patricia Goldsmith, CEO of CancerCare, an organization providing free emotional and practical assistance for those affected by cancer.


C2 Catalyst for Precision Medicine

This category celebrates those expanding the boundaries for how to personalize care and ensure the right patients are getting the right medications at the right time. Winners celebrated this year included Barbara J. Gitlitz, MD and Geoffrey R. Oxnard, MD, Co-Principal Investigators of the Genomics of Young Lung Cancer Study (GoYLC), the first study of lung cancer in adolescents/young adults under the age of 40, which found about 80 percent of young lung-cancer patients with adenocarcinoma had a driver mutation treatable with available targeted therapies or precision medicine.

Additional finalists were Roman Yelensky, PhD, Executive Vice President & Chief Technology Officer with Gritstone Oncology working on next-generation sequencing to identify mutations and target treatment and the ROS1ders – a group of ROS1-positive cancer patients using social media and online networking to identify patients from 20 countries with the ROS1 mutation thereby allowing additional research.


President’s Award

AstraZeneca selected the winner of this category. The sole criteria was making a tangible and inspiring difference in the lives of patients or their loved ones. The winner – Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance’s Survivors Teaching Students® – brings ovarian cancer survivors and caregivers into medical education programs through a dedicated army of over 900 survivor-volunteers, who educate future healthcare professionals about ovarian cancer by sharing stories of diagnosis, treatment and survivorship, along with facts about the disease.

“There is incredible work happening across the oncology community,” said Jeremy Abbate, the publisher of Scientific American. “This is true not only of the winners and finalists recognized during our awards ceremony, but also of individuals and organizations working hard every day to make a profound difference for those living with or affected by cancer. We are humbled to think about the collective difference that can be made when this community comes together, and that really is what the C2 Awards are all about.”

A full list of finalists is available here.

– ENDS –



About YOUR Cancer

The C2 Awards are part of the YOUR Cancer Program, a broader initiative launched by AstraZeneca to spotlight those at the forefront of cancer research and patient support who are contributing toward eliminating cancer as a cause of death. YOUR CANCER aims to convene, engage, and highlight the full breadth of the oncology community, utilizing four pillars: a digital partnership hub profiling community resources and perspectives, an awards program recognizing the unsung heroes of oncology, state-level roundtables with local policymakers and advocates, and media and speaking engagements profiling community oncology leaders.


About AstraZeneca in Oncology

AstraZeneca has a deep-rooted heritage in Oncology and offers a quickly-growing portfolio of new medicines that has the potential to transform patients’ lives and the Company’s future. With at least six new medicines to be launched between 2014 and 2020, and a broad pipeline of small molecules and biologics in development, we are committed to advance Oncology as a growth driver for AstraZeneca focused on lung, ovarian, breast and blood cancers. In addition to our core capabilities, we actively pursue innovative partnerships and investments that accelerate the delivery of our strategy, as illustrated by our investment in Acerta Pharma in hematology.

By harnessing the power of four scientific platforms – Immuno-Oncology, Tumor Drivers and Resistance, DNA Damage Response and Antibody Drug Conjugates – and by championing the development of personalized combinations, AstraZeneca has the vision to redefine cancer treatment and one day eliminate cancer as a cause of death.


About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in three therapy areas – Oncology, Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism and Respiratory. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter @AstraZenecaUS.


About Scientific American Custom Media

Scientific American’s award-winning Custom Media team (SACM) develops targeted, strategic content programs in partnership with corporations, governments, and academic institutions. SACM operates as a division separate from the magazine’s Board of Editors to create highly engaging, one-of-a-kind media programs for thought-leading audiences. From mini-documentaries or custom events to standalone magazines and native content series, SACM offers its partners opportunities to build compelling and distinct narratives that convey their brand values and unique stories.



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