It was the culmination of years of effort by many scientists and physicians and the bravery of patients to try something new that has brought some steady hope in an experimental therapy called epigenetics.

I've spent a decade writing about this new field of science, trying to explain its vast complexity and watching it become part of the science journalist's lexicon.  But it was during the taping of a local news program that finally brought this research full circle.  For the program, we invited a patient who had participated in the clinical trial to meet the scientists who did the research that led to the trial.  He toured the lab, shook hands with researchers and got a first-hand look at ongoing studies geared to making epigenetic therapy better.

This scene represents what we at Johns Hopkins do best -- we take what we learn in our research laboratories and develop new tests and treatments for cancer and other diseases.  "Translational research" is a theme you'll see often in this blog.  It's what matters to us -- curing cancer patients so that they can go on living and doing what matters to them.

Below is a clip from the recent Stand Up to Cancer telethon that aired on all four television news networks.  It's another example of translational research, and patient Myra Thompson will be featured in an upcoming issue of our magazine, Promise and Progress.

Finally, we'd like to hear from you, our readers...what "matters" to you in the fight against cancer?

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