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Pancreatic Cancer Action Network Legislative Priorities for 2014
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network calls on the 113th Congress to help us make progress against the fourth leading cancer killer by:
1. Ensuring that the provisions of the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act are fully implemented. Click here to read more.
2. Supporting a permanent fix to sequestration and providing sustained adequate funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Click here to read more.
1. Ensuring that the provisions of the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act are fully implemented.
Congress scored a victory for pancreatic cancer patients when it passed the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act in December 2012. This bill, which was signed into law on January 2, 2013, calls on the NCI to develop scientific frameworks for pancreatic and lung cancer, which will help provide the strategic direction needed to make true progress in these deadly cancers. Under the statute, the director may also develop scientific frameworks for other deadly or recalcitrant cancers, defined as those with a five-year survival rate below 50%.
Currently, the NCI is reportedly working on developing the report called for in the statute. We look forward to updating Congress on the implementation of this important first step in improving pancreatic cancer survival.
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2. Supporting a permanent fix to sequestration and providing sustained adequate funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
Pancreatic cancer is still the deadliest major cancer with a five-year relative survival rate of just 6% and no early detection tools or effective treatments. Further, pancreatic cancer is expected to move from the fourth to the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the U.S. by 2020.
Pancreatic cancer statistics call for aggressive measures now to develop early detection and treatment tools before even more Americans fall victim to this deadly cancer. Our ability to make progress, however, is hindered by declining medical and cancer research funding. Over the last decade, the NIH has lost approximately 20% of its purchasing power (when factoring in the rate of biomedical inflation). And in fiscal year 2013, the NCI budget was cut by 5.8%, largely as a result of sequestration.
We cannot hope to have success in diseases like pancreatic cancer if current funding trends continue. Further, it will be very difficult to leverage the opportunities that develop as a result of the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act unless adequate funding is provided by Congress. That’s why we are asking Congress to support a permanent fix to sequestration and to provide sustained adequate funding for the NIH and NCI so that we can begin to make the progress so desperately needed in pancreatic cancer.
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