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Kristen Dahlgren Starts the Pink Eraser Project for Cancer Vaccines, MTV’s Jared March Dies and More

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From Kristen Dahlgren stepping away from NBC to focus on the Pink Eraser Project for cancer vaccines, to MTV’s Jared March dying of sarcoma, here’s what is happening in the oncology space this week.

Image of a vaccine needle in a vial.

Kristen Dahlgren leaves NBC to focus on guiding the development of cancer vaccines in a nonprofit called Pink Eraser Project.

NBC’s Kristen Dahlgren is stepping away to start a breast cancer vaccine nonprofit.

Kristen Dahlgren, an NBC correspondent and breast cancer survivor, recently announced that she is stepping away from the network to work on the Pink Eraser Project, a nonprofit she co-founded that has the goal of bringing researchers and key stakeholders together to expedite the development of breast cancer vaccines.

“Our goal is to build a pool of breast cancer survivors to help spread the word about joining trials, work with other institutions doing breast cancer vaccine research, and to partner with the hundreds of amazing support organizations that have been lifting up breast cancer patients and supporting research for years,” she wrote in a Jan. 30 article on Today discussing her departure from NBC.

READ MORE: Ongoing Trial Investigates Cancer Vaccine Plus Keytruda for TNBC

Dahlgren, now 50 years old, received a diagnosis of breast cancer in 2019 and underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatments. She is now in remission, and said in the NBC article, “but as a breast cancer survivor, fears of a recurrence are always there.”

Now, she’s hoping that a cancer vaccine would one day mitigate the fears of recurrence and death that patients with the disease face.

“Today, however, I know we are closer to a day when those who have the disease — or those at high risk of developing it — could choose a vaccine that instructs their own body to kill the cancer. I believe we’re on the cusp of having technology to make that safe, effective and affordable for everyone who wants it,” Dahlgren said.

MTV’s Jared March died of cancer.

Jared March, a producer on the MTV show, “The Challenge” died on Jan. 27 after being diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma in his right leg approximately two and a half years ago, according to the Team Jmared Foundation. He was 28 years old.

Shortly after receiving his diagnosis, March established the Team Jmared Foundation to help individuals with similar diagnoses. Through the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the organization has raised over $300,000 to help patients cover the nonmedical costs that come along with cancer treatment, such as housing, transportation and child or eldercare. Now, according to the foundation’s website, his family plans on carrying on March’s legacy.

The president of Planned Parenthood has brain cancer.

Cecile Richards, who served as the president of Planned Parenthood, a nonprofit organization providing reproductive and sexual health care, recently opened up about her diagnosis with glioblastoma.

The diagnosis came six months ago when Richards and her family were vacationing in Maine, and the 66-year-old found that she had forgotten how to write. She went to the emergency room at NYU while her eldest daughter, Lily, was in labor. Now, Richards is undergoing treatment for the incurable brain cancer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, according to The Cut, a New York Magazine website that covers women’s interests. She is enrolled in a clinical trial that includes twice-weekly infusions.

This is not Richards’ first personal experience with cancer. In 2006, shortly after she became the head of Planned Parenthood, her mother died of cancer. However, Richards is staying optimistic and says she feels good.

“I am sleeping. I’m eating. I’m having fun. I’m working. It’s like Pinocchio — I’m a real boy, and that feels really good,” Richards told The Cut. “Because six months ago, I didn’t know that this was possible.”

Shannen Doherty gave an update on a “miracle” cancer drug.

Shannen Doherty, the “Beverly Hills, 90210” actress who received a diagnosis of stage 4 breast cancer, recently discussed the new cancer treatment she is undergoing on her podcast, “Let’s Be Clear.”

"After the sixth or seventh treatment, we really saw it breaking down the blood-brain barrier. Do I call that a miracle? For me, that happens to be a miracle right now, that, like, I sort of rolled the dice and said let's keep going," Doherty, aged 52, said.

"Every day is a gift, and there are so many new things in the works that I think hope is always there," Doherty said on her podcast. "All I can do is live each day in as much of a positive manner, with a lot of hope, as I can."

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