PHILADELPHIA ― On Thursday, Senators Edward M. Kennedy and Kay Bailey Hutchison introduced legislation that will renew the war on cancer by modernizing and advancing the national cancer program of the United States.
The 21st Century Cancer ALERT (Access to Life-saving Early detection, Research and Treatment) Act represents an important effort to re-assess the national cancer program and improve cancer research, prevention, detection, control and treatment in the United States. The legislation aims to expand and accelerate the search for cures, more effective treatments and better preventive measures while addressing the ongoing needs of the nearly 12 million Americans struggling with cancer today.
"It is imperative that we move with greater speed to strengthen and expand our nation's efforts to prevent, treat and cure cancer," said Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.), chief executive officer of the American Association for Cancer Research. "The leadership that Senators Kennedy and Hutchison are providing comes at a pivotal moment, when decades of scientific effort are converging to produce a revolution in cancer research and care. The 21st Century Cancer ALERT Act represents a critical step in modernizing the national cancer program and in improving our ability to make headway in the war on cancer."
Since the United States declared war on cancer over four decades ago with the signing of National Cancer Act of 1971, tremendous strides have been made in the understanding of the disease and in the development of therapies that have increased survival and improved the lives of millions. Despite these accomplishments, cancer still kills more than 560,000 Americans each year. Without a greater commitment to cancer research, this number will increase as the baby boom generation grows older. In fact, by 2010, cancer will be the world's number one killer, according to the World Health Organization.
In their endeavor to address the complexities and obstacles confronting the national cancer program, Senators Kennedy and Hutchison have sought input from stakeholders representing every aspect of cancer research and care from the bench to bedside. The AACR applauds their leadership in engaging a wide range of experts to identify key challenges and craft legislation that presents solutions that will foster a new age of discovery and patient care.
"The AACR has been grateful for the opportunity to contribute its expertise in cancer research to this undertaking," said Ray DuBois, M.D., Ph.D., president of the American Association for Cancer Research and provost and executive vice president of The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. "We look forward to working closely with Senators Kennedy and Hutchison to refine this legislation and advance it quickly through Congress for the benefit of cancer patients and their families."
|Contact: Jeremy Moore|
American Association for Cancer Research