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FasterCures President Greg Simon Testifies to U.S. Senate HELP Committee on Cancer Challenges and Opportunities in the 21st Century
Date:5/8/2008

WASHINGTON, May 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Arguing that the nation can no longer afford the human and financial toll from cancer, FasterCures President Greg Simon today told the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pension (HELP) Committee that "we cannot fight this war on cancer with the strategy we've got. We've got to fight it with the strategy we need." Simon joined other leaders in the cancer community at a HELP Committee hearing on cancer challenges and opportunities in the 21st Century.

"We are not soldiers in a war against cancer; we are students majoring in cancer," said Simon. "We are not investing the financial resources, human capital, and technological infrastructure needed to be "at war" with cancer, much less to win that war."

His testimony addressed the need to focus our national medical research enterprise on curing diseases, not just studying them.

"Our current research infrastructure has led to great advances in knowledge of human health and disease; but it is not a good system for developing therapies for patients," he said. "We need to reshape our research enterprise by forging strong collaborations and partnerships between researchers in government, academia, nonprofit disease research organizations, and industry."

Simon told the Committee that the systemic barriers to finding effective cancer treatments are the same barriers that hold back progress in all disease research areas. Addressing these barriers in cancer research will provide enormous value to the rest of our disease research system. To address these barriers, Simon recommended in part, that the nation:

-- Reorganize our research enterprise to focus on curing diseases;

-- Demonstrate our national commitment to curing cancer by investing an

amount sufficient to stop the human and financial losses due to cancer

as quickly as possible; and

-- Ensure that all cancer patients have access to the best and most

cutting-edge care possible.

"If we are to create a 21st Century system to cure diseases, we have to be willing to challenge long-held assumptions about the nature and purpose of medical research and to show a renewed commitment to supporting medical research through meaningful investments of financial and human capital," said Simon.

About FasterCures

FasterCures/The Center for Accelerating Medical Solutions is committed to saving lives by saving time in the research, discovery and development of new treatments for deadly and debilitating diseases. FasterCures, as a center of the Milken Institute, is nonpartisan, nonprofit and independent of interest groups. For more information, visit http://www.fastercures.org.


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SOURCE FASTERCURES
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