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Wednesday, November 14, 2012--Today, Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) urged Congress to hold cancer research harmless from the fiscal cliff that members of Congress face as they return to session today following the election break.
LCA President and CEO Laurie Fenton-Ambrose said that cancer research funding is not a luxury but a necessity.
“The incidence rate of cancer is higher now than it was 40 years ago and it is the leading cause of death in adults under the age of 75,” she said. “With the number of patients and the cost of treatment escalating we cannot afford to short change the agencies of government involved in cancer research and the review of new and more targeted cancer drugs now."
She also cautioned, however, that research money must be spent more cautiously with a comprehensive plan of action to guide funding decisions and benchmarks to gauge results.
“This is the taxpayers’ money we are investing in cancer research and treatment development and there has to be more accountability,” she said.
Fenton-Ambrose also said that funding should be increased for high mortality cancers, such as lung and pancreatic cancers, which together account for a third of all cancer deaths.
Despite that impact, lung cancer and pancreatic cancers are among the least funded and their low survival rates have not changed significantly since the War on Cancer was enacted in 1971.
Fenton-Ambrose said that Lung Cancer Alliance will take that message to Congress and work with other organizations in support of federally funded research agencies within the Departments of Health and Human Services, Defense and Veterans Affairs, as well the Food and Drug Administration which is implementing a new expedited approval process for breakthrough therapies.