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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) will host Dr. Harold Varmus, Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), in Kansas City on Friday, October 5, 2012, to tour cancer research facilities in the area and meet with local cancer researchers, doctors and scientists. NCI is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and is the United States’ primary agency for cancer research and training. Dr. Varmus leads our nation’s effort to reduce the burden of cancer and improve the lives of cancer patients and their families, through research into prevention and cancer biology, the development of new treatments, and the training and mentoring of new researchers.

"I am honored that Dr. Varmus accepted my invitation to see firsthand how Kansas has become a leader in advancing medical research to overcome cancer and other devastating diseases,” Sen. Moran said. “This past July, The University of Kansas Cancer Center (KUCC) was selected for NCI designation – a tremendous achievement that will enable KUCC patients to have access to the most advanced cancer treatments and clinical trials close to home. With NCI designation, KUCC is better positioned to recruit the brightest researchers to develop cutting-edge treatments and cures right here in Kansas. This wonderful achievement would not have been possible without strong support from the local community in Kansas City and across our state. I am grateful to have the opportunity to show this support to Dr. Varmus on our visits and to discuss the next steps in Kansas’ efforts to combat cancer and other diseases."

Friday’s events will include several stops by Sen. Moran and Dr. Varmus in Kansas City, and begin with a tour of Children’s Mercy Hospital and Hall Family Outpatient Center. Children’s Mercy has one of the largest pediatric cancer programs in the country. The hospital is a member of the Children’s Oncology Group, NCI’s pediatric clinical trials program, and is part of the Midwest Cancer Alliance which assisted KUCC in achieving NCI designation. Sen. Moran and Dr. Varmus will also tour the University of Kansas Clinical Research Center at the Johnson County Research and Education Triangle. Following that visit, they will join Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and KUCC Director Roy Jensen at Stowers Institute for Medical Research where Dr. Varmus will give a presentation entitled “Understanding Cancer as Rare Diseases."

Finally, on Saturday, October 6th, Sen. Moran and Dr. Varmus will help officially start the 2012 Tour de BBQ bike ride, an annual event to raise money for cancer research. The bike ride will begin in Kansas City’s Power & Light District.

Sen. Moran is a member of the Senate Appropriations health subcommittee which has jurisdiction over the budgets of NCI and NIH. Dr. Varmus is a Nobel Laureate and former director of NIH.