Pancreatic Cancer Action Network Applauds House Passage of the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act, Formerly Known as the Pancreatic Cancer Research & Education Act
Today [September 19, 2012], the United States House of Representatives passed unanimously the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act (H.R. 733), formerly known as the Pancreatic Cancer Research & Education Act. The bill requires the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to create a long-term plan, referred to as a scientific framework, for pancreatic and other recalcitrant cancers that includes evaluating its current efforts in the disease and making recommendations on ways to accelerate progress and improve outcomes.
“On behalf of all those affected by pancreatic cancer, we applaud the House for passing H.R. 733 today, and commend Representatives Eshoo (D-CA) and Lance (R-NJ) for their leadership and dedication in the fight against pancreatic cancer,” said Julie Fleshman, president and chief executive officer of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. “Today’s victory is a testament to what can be achieved when a group of people are fiercely determined to accomplish a common goal. Our passionate volunteers secured more than 290 bi-partisan co-sponsors in the House prior to its passage. While we still have much work to do before making verifiable scientific advances against pancreatic cancer, this is an extremely important step forward. Today, we have given tomorrow’s patients hope.”
“The passage of this bill is a critical step towards reaching our goal to double the pancreatic cancer survival rate by 2020,” Fleshman continued. “Our hope is that the Senate will pass the bill quickly and that President Obama signs it into law, so the NCI can begin implementing an actionable research plan to accelerate progress and improve outcomes for the disease. To tackle any serious problem—especially one uniquely challenging like pancreatic cancer—there must be a plan of attack. This legislation will put a greater focus on pancreatic cancer and other similarly deadly cancers.”
The Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act, formerly known as the Pancreatic Cancer Research & Education Act, will require the NCI to identify cancers like pancreatic cancer that have low survival rates. Under the bill, the NCI will convene working groups to develop scientific frameworks focused on specific recalcitrant cancers. The frameworks will identify promising scientific advances, assess the sufficiency of qualified researchers working in relevant specialties, outline a plan to coordinate research, and include recommendations to advance research, including appropriate benchmarks for measuring progress. The legislation is a measured and balanced approach that complements ongoing research efforts at the NCI. The bill gives the NCI significant discretion to follow the best science, while encouraging the Institute to rigorously evaluate how existing efforts are, and are not, supporting progress in the prevention, detection, diagnosis, and treatment of recalcitrant cancers.
The Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act provides an opportunity to change the future for pancreatic cancer by implementing a research plan that will lay the groundwork for the development of early detection methods and effective treatment options, which are currently lacking. The legislation currently awaits a vote in the Senate and if passed will require the president’s signature in order to become law.
Pancreatic cancer currently has a six percent five-year survival rate, the lowest among all major cancer killers. This year alone more than 37,000 Americans will succumb to pancreatic cancer, while nearly 44,000 more will be diagnosed. And according to a recently released report, the number of pancreatic cancer deaths is on the rise, and it is anticipated to become the second largest cancer killer in the U.S. by 2020, and possibly as early as 2015.
To read the full text of the Act, please click here.