Blog Posts by Katie Couric

  • Childhood cancers: Unlocking the cure

     

    By Molly McGuiness

    Since 1960, the overall five-year relative survival rate for leukemia patients has more than quadrupled.   It’s one of the great success stories of cancer research.

    Why have doctors and scientists seen such progress in treating this form of cancer, which was once invariably fatal?

    The new PBS documentary “Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies,” a six-hour, three-part film series presented by the filmmaker Ken Burns and based on the book by Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee, takes a closer look at cancer success stories and reveals the lessons they teach about fighting this deadly disease. 

    Yahoo News Global Anchor Katie Couric sat down with Ken Burns and Dr. Mukherjee to talk about the film and why childhood cancers could hold the key to a cure. 

    By the 1940s, scientists in cancer research had discovered that the only way to treat leukemia was to stop the growth of white blood cells.

    “It demanded a chemical therapy, a systemic therapy to solve the problem,” says

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  • Immunotherapy: The new weapon in the fight against cancer



    By Molly McGuiness

    The idea that we could use our bodies to fight cancer is nothing new.  

    Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee explains, “We think of science as a kind of linear narrative. But of course it’s a circular narrative as well. You look at the past to figure out, ‘Well, wait a second, maybe that thing that really died an early death could be recovered and rejuvenated.’ And now it’s an amazingly important cancer medicine. That’s what makes it a detective story.”

    Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric sat down with Mukherjee and filmmaker Ken Burns to discuss the new documentary “Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies.” The six-hour, three-part film series, airing on PBS on March 30 and 31 and April 1, unravels the mystery of cancer through the patients who battle the disease and the researchers and scientists who have dedicated their lives to treating it.

    Immunotherapy was first explored by a 19th-century surgeon named William Coley at Memorial Hospital in New York City. 

    Coley made a

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  • The Federal Reserve explained

    By Kaye Foley

    Chair Janet Yellen grabbed everyone’s attention this year when she implied that the Federal Reserve, aka the Fed, may raise interest rates for the first time in six years. The markets have been responding ever since, once again proving that the Fed holds a lot of the cards when it comes to the U.S. economy.

    But what exactly is the Fed? And how did it become so powerful?

    The government has influence over the economy in two ways. There’s fiscal policy, which is when Congress and the president create legislation on taxes, regulation and government spending.

    Then there’s monetary policy, and that’s where the Fed comes in.

    The Fed, while a government agency, is independent and operates without needing the approval of the branches of government. It was created in 1913 with the Federal Reserve Act as a way to centralize and regulate banking to avoid economic collapse. Now, as the nation’s central bank, the Fed supervises other banks to ensure they’re safe places for people

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  • Sidney Farber and Lifting the Shame of Cancer

     



    By Molly McGuiness

    The idea seemed unthinkable: Inject children who are already gravely ill with a potent poison in an attempt to make them better.

    In 1947, a leukemia diagnosis was tantamount to a death sentence. It could kill a healthy child in just a few months. 

    Sidney Farber, MD, a pathologist at Boston Children’s Hospital, who had seen too many children’s lives cut short by this relentless disease, thought the answer may lie in subjecting his young patients to a rare and possibly dangerous compound called aminopterin.

    His experiment worked. The drug starved white blood cells of crucial nutrients and poisoned the cancer, resulting in an unknown concept for these children — remission. It was the beginning of chemotherapy.

    Farber is one of the many unsung heroes of cancer research whose story is told in the new PBS film, “Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies,” a six-hour, three-part documentary series, presented by Ken Burns and based on the book by Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD.

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  • Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies



    By Katie Couric

    All of us know someone who has been affected by cancer. In 1997, I had a great career, a wonderful husband and two beautiful young daughters, who were 5 and 1. In an instant, everything changed. That’s what cancer does, it changes everything in an instant.

    My husband, Jay, was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. Nine months later, he died. He was 42.

    Three years after that, my sister, Emily, who had read my eulogy for me at Jay’s funeral, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She lost her battle on Oct. 18, 2001. She was 54.

    This is why, like so many before me, I’ve become a crusader against cancer. I experienced what so many families have experienced: the terrifying, numbing impact of a cancer diagnosis; the fear of a future without that person who means the world to you; and the feeling that you have a vice around your heart 24/7 and the anguish in realizing that there is nothing anyone can do. At first, I focused on colon cancer, even undergoing a colonoscopy on

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  • UVA rape investigation: Police say no evidence to support allegations reported by Rolling Stone

     

    Police in Charlottesville, Va., say they found no evidence to support claims by a woman who said she was gang raped at the University of Virginia in 2012 — an explosive allegation that gained national attention when it was reported by Rolling Stone last fall.

    At a news conference Monday, Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo said the woman, identified as “Jackie” by the magazine, refused to cooperate with police in their investigation.

    Longo said the case has been suspended, but he emphasized that it has not been closed.

    “There is no substantive basis to conclude that what was reported in that article happened,” Longo said. “That doesn’t mean something terrible didn’t happen to Jackie.”

    [RELATED: The bizarre story behind the Rolling Stone rape case]

    The Nov. 19 article (“A Rape on Campus”) — in which writer Sabrina Rubin Erdely detailed Jackie’s alleged brutal rape by seven men at a 2012 Phi Kappa Psi party during her freshman year — prompted the police to launch an

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  • Richmond police chief: 'All lives matter. That's really what community policing should be about.'

     

     

    by Brad Marshland

    When Chris Magnus first moved to Richmond, Calif., in 2006, he would hear gunshots at night, sometimes very close to his house. That would be disturbing to anyone, but it was especially so to Magnus, as he had just been hired to be Richmond's new chief of police.

    Recent shootings of unarmed black men in Ferguson, Mo.; Cleveland, Ohio;  and Madison, Wis., have triggered violent reactions, revealing a deep chasm between many police departments and the communities they purportedly serve. But not so in the San Francisco Bay Area suburb of Richmond: Not only are relationships between the people and the police strong, but the statistics indicate that the policies instituted by Chief Magnus are significantly reducing crime. Violent crime has been dropping nationally for years – down 14.5% since 2004, according to the FBI. In Richmond, it has dropped even faster. Homicides in this city of just over 100,000 are down from 47 in 2007 to just 11 last year.

    Since Magnus

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  • Pope Francis: The first two years

    By Kaye Foley

    March 19 marked the second anniversary of the inauguration of Pope Francis. In his first two years as pontiff, Pope Francis, the 266th leader of the Catholic Church, has stayed true to his Jesuit roots and brought a fresh sense of humility and empathy to the church.

    As spiritual leader of an estimated 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide, Pope Francis has urged people to look after the poor and the marginalized. Right from the start, he wished for a “poor church for the poor.”

    The former Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires practices what he preaches. He lives simply. He refuses to ride in the bulletproof limo as popes have in the past, he eats in the cafeteria with Vatican workers and he lives in a modest apartment in the Vatican guesthouse instead of the papal palace.

    He has challenged the status quo of the church by speaking openly about taboo topics and providing a more progressive perspective. Although no specific doctrine has changed, people feel he brings a more

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  • Mitt Romney Exclusive: Former GOP presidential candidate talks Clintons and facing off against Evander Holyfield

     

    Watch Katie Couric’s complete, exclusive interview with Mitt Romney here.

     

    By Jon Ward

    Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric in an exclusive interview Wednesday that he decided not to run for president a third time for a simple reason.
     
    “It just didn’t feel right,” Romney said in his first interview since deciding at the end of January not to mount another campaign. “Somehow, it just didn’t feel like this was the right time for us to step forward.”
     
    He said, “I would love to be president. I just concluded I was not the best person to carry forward the Republican torch.”
     
    If he had run, Romney said, he would have spent “a great deal of time taking my message to Hispanic Americans and to other minority groups in this country — African Americans, Asian Americans — and describing why it is that conservative principles are best for them and for their families.
     
    “That’s something I wish I would’ve spent a lot more time doing” in

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  • Frank Bruni talks college admissions madness

    By Brian Prowse-Gany

    High anxiety. It’s that time of year when many high school seniors find out where they may be spending the next four years. Some will be celebrating the fact that they are “the chosen,” while others will be bitterly disappointed. The bad news used to be in a telltale thin envelope. Today rejection is just a mouse click away. Now, as it was then, it’s a difficult pill to swallow.

    New York Times op-ed columnist Frank Bruni decided enough was enough. After witnessing a college admissions process spiraling out of control, he delivers a book that is a comforting balm for those who are smarting from the sting of rejection. “Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania” offers sage advice and copious research showing that the myopic drive for acceptance has little to do with future success. In fact, he asserts, that rejection may turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to you.

    Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric sat down

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