WASHINGTON, April 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Lung Cancer Alliance announced that a comprehensive lung cancer research funding bill targeting lung cancer's high mortality rate was introduced with bipartisan support today in the U.S. House of Representatives today.
"We now have legislation authorizing a broad new comprehensive, multi-agency approach to lung cancer in both Houses of Congress. This is a milestone -- the turning point we are all looking for in federal policy on lung cancer," said LCA President and CEO Laurie Fenton Ambrose.
"We are deeply grateful to the bill's primary sponsors, Congresswoman Donna M. Christensen (D-VI) and Congressman Frank A. LoBiondo (R-NJ), for their continuing leadership on this issue," she said.
Congresswomen Christensen, now in her seventh term, is the first female doctor ever elected to the House of Representatives, a member of the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee which has jurisdiction over health policy and chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust.
"The toll of lung cancer is enormous. It is the biggest cancer killer in every ethnic group, taking more lives each year than the next four most common cancers combined," Congresswoman Christensen said. "With over 60% of new cases being diagnosed in people who never smoked or who had already quit, we need to address this disease as a priority with a more comprehensive strategy."
Congressman LoBiondo, in his eighth term, has been a key legislator on transportation, national security and environmental issues.
"There has been some progress in developing treatments and reducing mortality in lung cancer, but much more can and needs to be done," said Congressman LoBiondo. "My family knows firsthand of the toll lung cancer takes, and I believe this added investment into research and treatment is a necessity."
Similar legislation was introduced in the Senate earlier this year by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS), who co-chair the Senate Cancer Coalition.
In the 110th Congress, both the House and the Senate passed resolutions urging the administration to make lung cancer research a priority.
The new House and Senate bills, both entitled the Lung Cancer Mortality Reduction Act of 2009, authorize in law a broad comprehensive program that requires all the research related agencies within the Departments of Health and Human Services, Defense and Veterans Administration to coordinate on a strategy for reducing lung cancer's high mortality rate. Annual progress reports to Congress are also required.
The bill calls for $75 million in the first year to launch the program with such sums as may be necessary in the ensuing four years to accomplish the mortality reduction goal.
"When the war on cancer was launched nearly 40 years ago, lung cancer's 5-year survival rate was 13%. Today it is still only 15% and that is unacceptable. What our leaders in Congress are saying with this legislation is, 'We can and must do better,'" said Fenton Ambrose.
Lung Cancer Alliance (www.lungcanceralliance.org) is the only national non-profit organization solely dedicated to patient support and advocacy for the lung cancer community. LCA's mission is to lead the movement to reverse decades of stigma and neglect by empowering those with or at risk for the disease, elevating awareness and changing health policy.
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|SOURCE Lung Cancer Alliance|
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