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Whitehead event to help demystify cancer

To help people decipher the bewildering maze of cancer information on the web and empower patients and families to work as effective partners with their health care providers, four Boston-based organizations are offering a two-day program on "Demystifying Cancer" at the Museum of Science on Friday and Saturday, April 9-10.

"Demystifying Cancer" is sponsored jointly by the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), the Museum of Science, and the American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics (ASLME). The full program will be available to 300 people who register in advance to attend all sessions. The collaborating organizations will also host free public lectures at the Museum on Friday night and special demonstrations for the museum-going public on Saturday afternoon.

Representing Whitehead among the roster of speakers will be Dr. Robert A. Weinberg, professor of biology at MIT and a Whitehead member. Other speakers will include Dr. Ivor Benjamin, co-editor-in-chief of OncoLink, one of the country's most respected web sites for cancer information; Dr. Bruce Chabner, clinical director of MGH's Cancer Center; and Dr. Barrie Cassileth, author of The Alternative Medicine Handbook: The Complete Reference Guide to Alternative and Complementary Therapies.

In the public lectures on "Understanding Cancer Research," beginning at 7pm on Friday, Drs. Weinberg and Chabner will describe current research on the origins of cancer and explore how that is used as a basis for the development of new cancer therapies. The organizers have also invited six other institutions to join in providing information displays at the museum from 1-5pm on Saturday.

For more information and a registration form, call Lisa Bears at 262-4990 x12 or e-mail

A version of this article appeared in the March 31, 1999 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 43, Number 24).

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