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Local American Cancer Society volunteers see benefits of their work

By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
Nov. 8, 2002
Two American Cancer Society volunteers from Meridian got a first-hand glimpse at how their efforts are paying off.
Gina Conner and Betty Lou Jones, both locally active fund-raisers for the American Cancer Society, attended the annual Research Dinner at University Medical Center in Jackson last month.
The American Cancer Society devotes more than $777,500 to cancer research in Mississippi out of $120 million it spends annually on research.
Both Jones and Conner have been involved with fund raising to benefit the American Cancer Society through Relay for Life campaigns for many years.
Conner is chief radiation therapist at Jeff Anderson Regional Cancer Center.
She said it was rewarding to learn how advancements she uses in her work originate with research.
Dr. Roy J. Duh, assistant professor in the department of pharmacology and toxicology, made a presentation on cancer research and future plans at UMC during the dinner.
In a telephone interview this week Duh said UMC is in the early stages of planning a comprehensive cancer center.
Recent advances in cancer research have led to medication that targets defective genes responsible for specific cancers such as leukemia and breast cancer.
Duh said the American Cancer Society and groups like it are an important source of research funding. He also said the work of volunteers who increase the public's awareness of cancer are essential.