More than 30 national organizations dedicated to improving the lives of children with cancer applaud the U.S. Senate’s passage of The Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access, and Research (STAR) Act, legislation that would expand research opportunities, improve efforts to identify and track diagnoses, and enhance the quality of life for survivors.
The Alliance for Childhood Cancer, which represents national patient advocacy groups as well as professional medical and scientific organizations, will now work to get the STAR Act approved quickly by the House of Representatives. More than 80% of House Members are currently signed on to formally cosponsor this legislation that will benefit the approximately 15,000 children who are diagnosed with cancer every year.
“The STAR Act is the most comprehensive childhood cancer bill ever taken up by Congress,” said Danielle Leach, co-chair of the Alliance for Childhood Cancer and senior director of government relations and advocacy at the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. “Its passage in the Senate is a significant step that brings tremendous hope to patients, survivors, and their families.”
The STAR Act would expand the information available to pediatric cancer researchers across the country, breaking down barriers to support collaborative efforts. Importantly, the bill does not stop at new cancer cases: it would also assist childhood cancer survivors, giving them the tools to take control of their health care as they age. More information about the STAR Act is available on the Alliance website.
The Alliance is especially grateful for the leadership of Senators Jack Reed (D-RI), Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) who co-sponsored the legislation from its introduction and worked as tireless advocates to shepherd it through the Senate. They have demonstrated true commitment and solidarity with children and families fighting cancer.
“The STAR Act is especially important because, despite recent advances in survival rates, childhood cancer continues to be the leading cause of disease-related death of children in the United States,” said Dr. Michael Link, co-chair of the Alliance for Childhood Cancer. “This legislation is vital for helping the medical community improve treatment outcomes and enhance the quality of life of survivors.”
“We now look to the House of Representatives, particularly the bill’s champions, Representatives Michael McCaul (R-TX), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Mike Kelly (R-PA), and G.K. Butterfield (D-NC),” Leach added. “They have all proven to be great champions for children with cancer and we look forward to working with them in the coming weeks to get this vital bill approved by the House and on the President’s desk.”
About the Alliance for Childhood Cancer
Founded in 2001, the Alliance for Childhood Cancer is a forum of over 30 national patient advocacy groups, and medical and scientific organizations. These organizations meet regularly in Washington, DC, to share ideas and concerns and work collaboratively to advance policies leading to improved research, public education, and diagnosis, treatment, supportive care, and survivorship for children and adolescents with cancer.
For more information visit www.allianceforchildhoodcancer.org.