Ellen Scharaga of Melville, NY, oversees oncology pharmacy operations and services at OncoMed Pharmaceutical Services. Aside from her professional duties, Ellen Scharaga also supports cancer charities, including the American Cancer Society and The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS).
Recently, LLS’ Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Lou DeGennaro, spoke to a U.S. Congressional committee about the importance of personalized medicine and related Food and Drug Administration (FDA) policy concerns. In total, a dozen participants joined the discussion on the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee’s 21st Century Cures initiative, which seeks to improve patient access to new therapies and remove obstacles to their development.
On behalf of oncologists and their patients, Dr. DeGennaro advocated for reform in the FDA approval process to allow innovative and novel treatments to move forward, even when they do not fit the conventional clinical trial path. One of the specific therapies the doctor supports is identifying the mutations that lead to acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and allowing researchers to develop new combinations of cancer therapies to treat and stop those mutations.