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National Brain Tumor Society Statement on Harold Varmus, MD, Director of the National Cancer Institute and Nobel Laureate

Published on March 12, 2015 in Press Release

Largest brain tumor nonprofit in U.S. thanks Harold Varmus for his service and leadership

National Brain Tumor Society thanks Dr. Harold Varmus for his leadership of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) over the past five years. During this period, which included federal budget constraints, NCI funding for brain tumor research increased, which is vital to the discovery and development of much-needed new and effective treatments for this devastating disease.

Dr. Varmus successfully steered The Cancer Genome Atlas Project (TCGA), through some of its most critical periods, allowing this seminal effort to produce important advancements in the understanding of brain tumors, and glioblastoma in particular, including the identification of molecular subtypes and genetic markers important for future clinical research. We also thank Dr. Varmus for the attention and support he paid to the emerging field of cancer systems biology research, an approach the National Brain Tumor Society believes is vital to studying and understanding the heterogeneity of brain tumors. More recently, we have been grateful that following discussions with National Brain Tumor Society and other patient advocacy groups as part of his Director’s Consumer Liaison Group (now the NCI Council of Research Advocates), Dr. Varmus approved the launch of a new pediatric genomics-based clinical trial focusing on recurrent solid tumors, including brain tumors.

We wish Dr. Varmus all the best in his new role at Weill Cornell Medical College, and hope NCI’s new leadership will continue the great example he set.

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