LCA Calls 2010 "Watershed Year for Lung Cancer"
WASHINGTON, D.C. [December 22, 2010]--Today,
Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) called 2010 “a watershed year” for lung
cancer that included increased research funding, additional
Congressional support, a new national coalition of key policy
organizations, and the validation of CT screening - a convergence of
forces that can reverse the historic underfunding and neglect of lung
LCA President and CEO Laurie Fenton Ambrose said, “This
is the most important year to date and looking back years from now 2010
will be seen as the turning point.”
“We are building a solid coalition of support within
Congress and within the top public health, medical and social justice
organizations in the country,” she said.
Even as Congress wraps up its work this week, support
continued to grow in the lame duck session with the addition of Senator
Jim Webb (D-VA), Congressman Ben Chandler (D-KY) and Congressman Geoff
Davis (R-KY) as co-sponsors of the Lung Cancer Mortality Reduction Act -
a bicameral and bi-partisan bill that authorizes the first
comprehensive research program specifically for lung cancer.
To date 61 members of the House of Representatives and 22 Senators have signed on.
Meanwhile, the Native Indian Health Board recently
joined the growing list of over 40 highly respected institutes and
organizations calling for a more compassionate and comprehensive plan
to address all aspects of lung cancer.
Earlier this year, Congress appropriated an additional
$15 million for the lung cancer research program which was launched
with $20 million in fiscal year 2009 through the Department of
Defense’s Congressionally Directed Medical Research program. Additional
funding for fiscal year 2011 has made it through Committee but the
final dollar amount will not be known until Congress completes action
on the new budget -- now slated for March 2011.
“Couple our work of building support within Congress and
growing our national network with the announcement by Dr. Harold
Varmus, Director of the National Cancer Institute, regarding the
results of the National Lung Cancer Screening Trial (NLST) and you can
understand why we believe this to be a critical turning point in the
history of the disease,” continued Fenton Ambrose.
The eight year old NLST of
50,000 people at high risk for lung cancer was suspended before its
anticipated completion because of the strength of the evidence that CT
scans can detect lung cancer at early stage and reduce mortality.
“Clearly we are ending 2010 on a
high note and we will be well positioned to engage the 112th Congress
in the new year,” concluded Fenton Ambrose.