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Lung Cancer Alliance-New England Hails Senator John Kerry For His Support For Increased Lung Cancer Research

Calls on Entire Delegation to Support Lung Cancer Mortality Reduction Act

Boston, MA [Friday, April 15, 2011] -- Today, Lung Cancer Alliance-New England (LCA-NE) thanked Senator John Kerry (D-MA) for being an original sponsor of the Lung Cancer Mortality Reduction Act (S. 752), authorizing legislation that establishes a multi-agency, comprehensive research program addressing all aspects of lung cancer, and called on the entire delegation of Massachusetts to show their support for the lung cancer community.

“We thank you Senator Kerry for taking the lead with Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) to call for a compassionate and comprehensive research plan of action for lung cancer”, said Priscilla Dewey Houghton, three time lung cancer survivor and LCA Board Member.  “He has been a steadfast champion for all of those in Massachusetts who have been impacted by lung cancer.  We are grateful for his continued compassion and commitment.”

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death nationally and in Massachusetts.  In 2011, it will take more lives than breast, prostate and colon cancers—combined.  Of those diagnosed 80% will be either former smokers or will have never smoked at all.  Lung cancer accounts for 30% of all cancer deaths.

“This is a wonderful development,” said Deborah Morosini, MD, LCA Board Member and sister of the late Dana Reeve who died of lung cancer in 2006.  “Dana and her husband, Chris were both great admirers and close friends of Senator Kerry.  My family continues to be so appreciative of the support he has offered in helping us to combat this disease that has touched all of our lives so deeply.”

“We must make a coordinated and comprehensive effort to reduce lung cancer deaths.  In doing so, we will see a reduction in overall cancer mortality.” said Diane Legg, lung cancer survivor and LCA-NE Co-chair.  “The Lung Cancer Mortality Reduction Act does just that.  We are confident that Senator Kerry’s sponsorship will encourage other Senators to join this growing list of endorsers.”

“Additionally, we will work to secure endorsement and support from the entire Massachusetts congressional delegation of the House companion bill, HR 1394,” said Rich Monopoli, LCA-NE Co-Chair.  “We will not rest until we have unanimous support for this landmark legislation that will improve lung cancer outcomes in Massachusetts and throughout New England.”

The legislation requires the Departments of Health and Human Services, Defense and Veterans Affairs to devise and coordinate a comprehensive specific plan of action that combines prevention and cessation with early detection and treatment research.

The legislation also calls for a screening demonstration program to begin the process of translating the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) recent scientific validation that low-dose CT screening of an at risk population can significantly reduce lung cancer mortality into public health benefit.