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Higgins announces adoption of Childhood Cancer STAR Act

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Fri, May 25th 2018 03:35 pm
Legislation authorizes $30 million annually for next 5 years specifically aimed at pediatric cancer
Congressman Brian Higgins, D-NY-26, announced approval of the Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access and Research (STAR) Act (S.292).
Higgins, a member of the bipartisan Childhood Cancer Caucus, is a cosponsor of the companion bill (H.R. 820) in the House of Representatives.
"Our youngest cancer patients present a unique set of circumstances and deserve a focus centered on the specific needs of children as both cancer warriors and life-long survivors," he said. "This bill represents a good start."
The legislation authorizes $30 million annually from 2019-23 for programs and research through the national Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention related directly to childhood cancer.
In addition, the Childhood Cancer STAR Act:
•Requires the National Cancer Advisory Board, which reviews and makes recommendations on research awards, to have at least one member who specializes in pediatric oncology;
•Supports research and outcomes addressing the physical and psychological needs of survivors; and
•Expands existing efforts utilize cancer databases compiled through clinical trials to allow for greater insight for researchers.
According to the National Cancer Institute, in 2017 more than 10,000 children under the age of 15 were newly diagnosed with cancer. While significant progress has been made in recent decades to increase survivorship, for children it remains the leading cause of death from disease, responsible for the death of approximately 1,200 annually.
The Childhood Cancer STAR Act is supported by the Alliance for Childhood Cancer, a coalition comprised of more than 20 member organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Cancer Society, Children's Brian Tumor Foundation, Children's Oncology Group and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
The Senate adopted the bill on March 22. It will now move to President Donald Trump's desk for final authorization.
Higgins is also co-chair of the House of Representatives Cancer Caucus, co-founder of the National Institutes of Health Caucus and cosponsor of the Accelerating Biomedical Research Act, which authorizes an additional $20.4 billion in federal funding to the National Institutes of health for promising research over the next three years.

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