Aflac Renews Commitment to Cancer Treatment and Research
COLUMBUS, Ga., Oct. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Aflac, the number one provider of supplemental insurance in the United States, announced today that the company has renewed its long-term commitment to childhood and youth cancer treatment and research. The Georgia-based insurance company has committed more than $600,000 to the Children’s Oncology Group’s Adolescents and Young Adults (AYA) research program over the next three years, adding to the more $1 million Aflac has contributed to the children’s oncology group since 2004 and the more than $67 million that Aflac has raised and donated for cancer treatment and research since 1995.
“At a time when raising money for research is challenging, we are extremely pleased to be in a position to continue our support for these terrific researchers who are working so hard to find a cure for pediatric and adolescent cancer,” Aflac Foundation President Kathelen Amos said. “Their work restores hope for children and families touched by cancer so Aflac is committed to supporting their ongoing search for a cure.”
A recent study conducted by the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), and supported by Aflac, has shown that adolescents and young adult (AYA) patients treated for acute myeloid leukemia are more than twice as likely to die of treatment-related causes as are younger children. More research is needed to know why older patients seem to be more susceptible to the toxic effects of treatment, including studying how their bodies metabolize chemotherapy, the kinds of infections they develop, and how treatments are delivered. Results from this study were presented at the 2011 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and currently are being prepared for publication in medical journals.
Other COG studies also funded by Aflac are detecting a pattern of increased treatment-related toxicity and lower survivals among AYA patients (those aged 15-39 years) compared with children less than 15 years of age.
“The reality is that studying the causes of cancer and developing more effective and safer treatments costs money,” Children’s Oncology Group AYA Committee Chair Dr. David Freyer said. “We simply could not do this innovative research without the commitment demonstrated by Aflac. Children and families facing cancer are fortunate that a company like Aflac cares for them as much as it cares for its customers.”
The funding provided through this grant to the COG AYA Committee will be used to conduct research on a variety of cancers affecting young adults, including acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), acute myeloid leukemia (AML), Hodgkin’s lymphoma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, bone sarcoma and soft tissue sarcoma. It will also support research on the quantity and quality of survival among AYA patients, as well as fund the Aflac AYA Oncology Young Investigator Award, which is given annually to promising young researchers who have demonstrated a steadfast commitment to research into cancer in AYA patients.
When a policyholder gets sick or hurt, Aflac pays cash benefits fast. For more than 55 years, Aflac insurance policies have helped provide a safety net and given policyholders the opportunity to focus on recovery, not financial stress. In the United States, Aflac is the number one provider of guaranteed-renewable insurance. In Japan, Aflac is the number one life insurance company in terms of individual policies in force. Aflac insurance products provide protection to more than 50 million people worldwide. For five consecutive years, Aflac has been recognized by Ethisphere magazine as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies and by Forbes magazine as one of America’s Best-Managed Companies in the Insurance category. In 2011, Fortune magazine recognized Aflac as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America for the 13th consecutive year. Also, Fortune magazine included Aflac on its list of Most Admired Companies for the 10th time in 2011. Aflac Incorporated is a Fortune 500 company listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AFL. To find out more about Aflac, visit aflac.com or aflacenespanol.com.
ABOUT THE CHILDREN’S ONCOLOGY GROUP
The Children’s Oncology Group (childrensoncologygroup.org), a National Cancer Institute-supported clinical trials group, is the world’s largest organization devoted exclusively to childhood and adolescent cancer research. The Children’s Oncology Group (COG) unites more than 7,500 experts in childhood cancer at more than 200 leading children’s hospitals, universities, and cancer centers across North America, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe in the fight against childhood cancer. COG research has turned children’s cancer from a virtually incurable disease 50 years ago into one with an overall cure rate approaching 80 percent today. Research conducted by the COG is also supported through the generosity of individuals, corporations and private foundations working with The Children’s Oncology Group Foundation (TheCOGFoundation.org), which enables philanthropic resources to go directly to COG’s worldwide team of researchers committed to turning new discoveries into better treatments.
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