Kyowa Kirin to Host Expert Roundtable Addressing Racial Health Inequities in Cancer Care

Moderated by the CEO of the Cutaneous Lymphoma Foundation, forum will spotlight real-world patient experience and lessons from healthcare and community outreach leaders

BEDMINSTER, N.J., June 8, 2022 Kyowa Kirin, Inc., an affiliate of Kyowa Kirin Co., Ltd. (Kyowa Kirin, TSE: 4151) a global specialty pharmaceutical company, will host a virtual roundtable discussion, Challenging Disparities in Cancer Care — Lessons for Cutaneous Lymphomas and Other Patient Communities, on June 14, 2022, 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. ET, ahead of National Black Family Cancer Awareness Week (June 16 – 22). During the event, panelists will discuss their firsthand experiences and best practices for how to overcome the barriers to diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing care often faced disproportionately by people of color living with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) and other forms of cancer or chronic disease.

“When it comes to cancer, the ability to secure a timely and accurate diagnosis and to remain engaged in treatment and disease management can be impacted by numerous factors,” said Lauren Walrath, Vice President of Public Affairs, Kyowa Kirin North America. “We know people of color may face additional challenges, particularly those living with rare cancers like CTCL that are less recognizable in people with darker skin tones. We are proud to host this roundtable discussion to explore lessons and solutions as part of our ongoing commitment to fostering health equity for patients from all backgrounds.”

The moderated discussion will explore all aspects of the patient experience and emerging strategies to address racial health inequities via research, education, community outreach, and care team engagement. This will be followed by a Q&A during which registered attendees will have the opportunity to submit questions. Registration for the event is free and can be made at

The roundtable panelists include:

  • Susan Thornton, Chief Executive Officer, Cutaneous Lymphoma Foundation (Moderator): A leader and community advocate, Susan Thornton is committed to advancing understanding and support for all people affected by cutaneous lymphomas.
  • Olenga Anabui, MBA, MPH, The Penn Center for Community Health Workers, IMPaCT Program: IMPaCT is a standardized, scalable program that centered on community health workers to improve health and equity. Through this and other initiatives, Olenga Anabui is committed to supporting people made disadvantaged by race and socioeconomic position to have full participation in life.
  • Pierluigi Porcu, MD, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital: Dr. Porcu is focused on the treatment and research of rare cancers like CTCL. He advocates for the importance of diverse representation in clinical trials to address racial disparities in drug development and clinical care.
  • Anita Larkin, MSN, CMSRN, RN, Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc.: Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Incorporated is a nonprofit organization of registered professional nurses representing many cultures and diverse ethnic backgrounds committed to supporting healthy communities of color through advocacy, collaboration, education, leadership, research, and service. Anita Larkin furthers this mission through her participation in their hallmark health outreach programs. Anita Larkin is also the Clinical Director of Surgical Oncology/Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplant at Methodist University Hospital in Memphis, TN, and a member of the Oncology Nursing Society.

“This event is a great opportunity to discuss the challenges that those living with rare and chronic diseases face every day, especially people of color,” says Susan Thornton. “My hope is that this diverse panel surfaces solutions that empower patients, including the CTCL community.”

About National Black Family Cancer Awareness Week

National Black Family Cancer Awareness Week, observed June 16 – 22, 2022, was created by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Oncology Center of Excellence to, “increase cancer awareness in one of the most vulnerable segments of the US population.” The initiative aims to marshal community-based stakeholders to build knowledge surrounding cancer clinical trial participation and minority population specimen donations to national genomic databases for cancer research.

About Racial Health Disparities in CTCL

Cutaneous T-cell Lymphoma is a rare form of blood cancer that first appears on the skin. It is often mistaken for more common skin conditions, such as eczema or psoriasis, which can delay an accurate diagnosis and treatment by years or even decades. African Americans are twice as likely to develop and present with CTCL compared to those of European or Asian descent. They are often diagnosed with CTCL at an earlier age and with more advanced disease, resulting in a significantly shorter overall survival. In 2020, KKNA established a grant program to identify and fund meaningful projects that can help diminish these disparities. To date, the Company has awarded over $200k dollars to university researchers and patient advocacy organizations in support of, community outreach, and educational programming focused on closing the gap in awareness and understanding of CTCL among African American communities.

About Kyowa Kirin

Kyowa Kirin strives to create and deliver novel medicines with life-changing value. As a Japan-based global specialty pharmaceutical company with a more than 70-year heritage, the company applies cutting-edge science, including expertise in antibody research and engineering, to address the needs of patients across multiple therapeutic areas such as nephrology, oncology, immunology/allergy and neurology. Across its four regions – Japan, Asia Pacific, North America and EMEA/International – Kyowa Kirin focuses on its purpose, to make people smile, and is united by its shared values of commitment to life, teamwork, innovation and integrity.

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