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Highway Marker To Honor Cancer Patient, Henrietta Lacks

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CLOVER, Va. (AP) — A poor black woman whose tumor cells helped scientists make advances in cancer treatment is being honored with a historical highway marker near her childhood home in Virginia.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that the marker honoring Henrietta Lacks will be dedicated July 29 in Clover.

Lacks was living in Baltimore in 1951 when, unbeknownst to her, a tissue sample was taken from her cervical tumor. It was used by a researcher at Johns Hopkins Hospital to start a line of cells that have since helped scientists with advances in the treatment of cancer and other diseases, such as helping develop the polio vaccine.

Lacks died in 1951.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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