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University of Iowa News Release

Nov. 6, 2003

Iowa Cancer Registry Researchers Honored For Achievements

Two University of Iowa researchers affiliated with the Iowa Cancer Registry (ICR) were recently honored for their contributions to the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Program of the National Cancer Institute.

Kathleen M. McKeen, administrative director of the ICR, was given the Lifetime Achievement Award for "remarkable and unique contributions to the SEER Program." Charles E. Platz, M.D., UI professor emeritus of pathology and former co-principal investigator of the ICR, was honored with a SEER Leadership Alumni Award for "significant contributions to the SEER Program, either in its operations, use of data or applications research."

McKeen and Platz were recognized Oct. 16 in Bethesda, Md., at an anniversary celebration marking 30 years of accomplishments by the SEER Program. The program is an authoritative source of information on new cancer cases and cancer survival in the United States. Case ascertainment for SEER began on Jan. 1, 1973, and now covers approximately 26 percent of the U.S. population. The anniversary celebration emphasized the program's scientific contributions to cancer control and public health in the United States and internationally, and honored the individuals who contributed to these advances.

McKeen's career in cancer surveillance spans 44 years at the UI. McKeen, associated with the State Health Registry of Iowa since 1978, has been its registry director since 1982. As registry director, she coordinates the activities of nearly 50 staff and interacts with local, state and national agencies to assure proper assembly and dissemination of cancer registry data. Prior to joining the program in 1978, McKeen directed the UI Hospitals and Clinics Cancer Registry. She began her career at the University Hospital Registry in 1959, which was then a member of the End Results Program of the Biometry Branch at NCI. In 2001, she received the Calum S. Muir Memorial Award presented by the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR), its premier award named for the pioneer in international cancer registration.

For more than two decades, Platz served as a consultant to the Iowa Cancer Registry on questions about pathology and quality assurance of pathology data. Before coming to the UI, he was an associate professor of pathology at the University of Chicago. He has served on numerous advisory groups and committees, including the NCI's Specimen Resources Committee, the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium Expansion Review Panel, the College of American Pathologists Bladder Cancer Task Force, the SEER Research Advisory Committee, the SEER Medical Advisory Group, and NAACCR's advisory service. He has been an invited lecturer at numerous meetings, including multiple SEER workshops. Platz also has authored or co-authored more than 50 publications.

The Iowa Cancer Registry, affiliated with the Department of Epidemiology in the UI College of Public Health, has been a member of the SEER Program since its inception in 1973. Charles F. Lynch, M.D., Ph.D., UI professor of epidemiology, serves as medical director and principal investigator of the ICR.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa College of Public Health Office of Communications, 4257 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242.

MEDIA CONTACT: Media: Debra Venzke, 319-335-9647,