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Senate Reiterates Calls For Making Lung Cancer Research National Priority

Armen Hareyan's picture

U.S. Senate unanimously reconfirmed its commitment to making lung cancer research a national public health priority.

Laurie Fenton-Ambrose, president of the Lung Cancer Alliance, thanked Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) for their leadership on the resolution which reinforces the one they shepherded through the Senate last year.

"This year they were joined as co-sponsors by Senator Diane Feinstein (D- CA) and Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS), who are both co-chairs of the Senate Cancer Caucus, and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH).

"We are deeply grateful to all of them for getting this resolution passed and for their strong support of the goals of the Lung Cancer Alliance to reverse decades of stigma, neglect and under funding of lung cancer research," said Fenton-Ambrose.

The resolution calls on President Bush to declare lung cancer a public health priority and to order health agencies to develop a comprehensive, coordinated program to cut lung cancer mortality in half by 2015.

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Specifically cited as areas for action include increased funding for translational research and specialized lung cancer research centers, more action on early detection, expedited development of chemoprevention and targeted drug therapies for lung cancer and screening pilot programs under Medicare.

Last year, during the previous Congress, a similar resolution was introduced in the House of Representatives but failed to pass.

A companion House resolution was introduced on April 24, 2007 by Congresswoman Lois Capps (D-CA), Congressman Ed Whitfield (D-KY) and Congresswoman Donna M. Christensen (D-VI).

They have been joined as co-sponsors by Congressman Virgil H. Goode Jr., Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX), Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA), Congressman Michael R. McNulty (D-NY), Congressman James P. Moran (D-VA). Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH), Congresswoman Betty Sutton (D-OH) and Congresswoman Lynn C. Woolsey (D-CA).

"We are hopeful that the House will act soon," said Fenton-Ambrose. "Slowly but surely we are building a strong coalition of House and Senate members who are deeply committed to making lung cancer research, early detection and mortality reduction a national priority."

"It's been long overdue," she said, "but we are getting there."