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LCA Announces Breakthrough for Lung Cancer Research

Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act Creates New NCI Scientific Framework Focused on Lethal Cancers – Lung and Pancreatic to Launch Initiative

Washington, D.C. [September 19, 2012]—Today, Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) hailed a major legislative victory in the House of Representatives with the passage of legislation to create a new federal research initiative within the National Cancer Institute (NCI) that would target the most lethal cancers and give lung cancer priority status.

The Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act of 2012 is a modified version of the bill formerly known as the Pancreatic Cancer Research & Education Act which passed the House of Representatives with strong bi-partisan support.

The legislation requires NCI to develop comprehensive plans of research action, or scientific frameworks, to address the most lethal cancers – those with a five year survival rate of less than 50 percent. Immediate attention is to be given to lung and pancreatic cancers.

LCA worked closely with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network to secure priority status for lung and pancreatic cancers in the legislation which together cause one in every three cancer deaths and whose 5-year survival rates of 15% and 6% respectively have barely moved since the 1972 launch of the “War on Cancer”.

Laurie Fenton Ambrose, LCA President & CEO, credited the achievement to the unrelenting work of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and its advocates along with the extraordinary efforts of lung cancer advocates all across the country who worked tirelessly to shine a brighter light on these deadly cancers.  Including lung cancer as part of the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act accomplishes an LCA core priority of bringing a more coordinated and comprehensive research approach to all aspects of the disease.

“These were the driving factors that gave LCA the leverage needed to secure priority status for lung cancer in the compromise bill that was negotiated in the House and Senate Health committees over the past three weeks”,  she said. “Thank you advocates and thank you Congressional leaders for helping us realize this long sought goal.”

House leaders for the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act included Congresswoman Anna Eshoo and Congressman Leonard Lance.  In addition, Congresswoman Donna Christensen and Congressman Frank LoBiondo were strong advocates for the bill and House sponsors of the Lung Cancer Mortality Reduction Act.

The Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act of 2012 requires NCI, within 18 months, to carry out a complete inventory of all research done to date, overlooked areas, the availability of researchers, the impact on public health, and then develop a scientific framework for a comprehensive plan of research action to address all aspects of the cancer, including prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Within 30 days of its development, the scientific framework must be sent to Congress and made publicly available.

“We are hopeful that this new research standing at NCI will bring long needed focus on these lethal cancers, continue to engage advocates in the process, and lead to greater and faster breakthroughs and improvements in survival,” continued Fenton Ambrose. “From prevention, to screening for those without known risk factors as well as those at high risk, to better treatments and even cures—this is what our movement is all about.”

In 2007, LCA secured passage of bipartisan resolutions in both Houses of Congress calling for lung cancer to be a national public health priority.

The Lung Cancer Mortality Reduction Act, legislation calling for a unique multi-agency comprehensive plan of action to reduce mortality by 50% by 2020, was subsequently introduced in both Houses, again with bi-partisan support, and at latest count co-sponsored in the House and Senate by 117 Members.

In addition, LCA joined forces over four years ago with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and other lethal cancer advocacy organizations to petition NCI to develop a new targeted research initiative focused on lethal cancers with low survival rates and little progress.

The Recalcitrant Research Cancer Act of 2012 is an amalgam of these strategic efforts.

The Senate is expected to act on the legislation tomorrow and if approved, be sent to the President for his signature.  

To view the House Bill, click here.