American Association for Cancer Research

AACR Press Releases

Cancer Organizations Unite to Honor Congressional Champions, Build Support for Cancer Research

May 16, 2012

Bookmark and Share

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Five of the nation’s leading oncology organizations will honor U.S. Reps. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) and Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.) for their great passion and commitment to strengthening the nation’s efforts to eradicate cancer and improve public health.

The American Association for Cancer Research, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the Association of American Cancer Institutes, Friends of Cancer Research and the Oncology Nursing Society will jointly recognize the contributions of the two lawmakers by presenting them each with The Cancer Leadership Award in Washington, D.C., on May 16, 2012.

Rep. Bilbray has been an outspoken advocate for investment in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and has worked tirelessly to rally bipartisan support for cancer research and biomedical science. As co-chair of the Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus, Rep. Bilbray has been a strong advocate for moving clinical research from the bench to the bedside. Recently, he joined Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) in urging fellow lawmakers to sign a “Dear Colleague” letter to House appropriators requesting a fiscal year 2013 funding level of at least $32 billion for the NIH.

Rep. DeGette, in addition to being a stalwart champion of the NIH in her own right, has demonstrated tremendous leadership in working to combat drug shortages, a growing crisis that is jeopardizing the care of cancer patients across the country. Rep. DeGette’s “Preserving Access to Life-Saving Medications Act” would, among other things, require manufacturers to notify the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of any discontinuance or interruption in the production of a drug at least six months in advance.

Just this month, Reps. DeGette and Bilbray showed great leadership by coming together to introduce the bipartisan “Breakthrough Therapy Act” in the House, now included in the House Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) reauthorization proposal, which aims to get the most promising new treatments to patients as quickly and safely as possible.

The awards will be presented during a reception the evening before a collaborative cancer research advocacy day on Capitol Hill. During the May 17 Hill Day, more than 80 researchers, oncology nurses, clinicians, advocates and cancer survivors from 26 states will unite and speak directly to lawmakers about the importance of a sustained investment in the NIH, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the FDA. Advocates will call on Congress to approve a fiscal year 2013 budget that will fund the NIH at $32.7 billion, including $5.36 billion for the NCI — a level that all five organizations say is necessary to sustain scientific momentum.

# # #

About the American Association for Cancer Research
Founded in 1907, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is the world’s first and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research and its mission to prevent and cure cancer. AACR’s membership includes 34,000 laboratory, translational and clinical researchers; population scientists; other health care professionals; and cancer advocates residing in more than 90 countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise of the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, biology, diagnosis and treatment of cancer by annually convening more than 20 conferences and educational workshops, the largest of which is the AACR Annual Meeting with more than 17,000 attendees. In addition, the AACR publishes seven peer-reviewed scientific journals and a magazine for cancer survivors, patients and their caregivers. The AACR funds meritorious research directly as well as in cooperation with numerous cancer organizations. As the Scientific Partner of Stand Up To Cancer, the AACR provides expert peer review, grants administration and scientific oversight of individual and team science grants in cancer research that have the potential for near-term patient benefit. The AACR actively communicates with legislators and policymakers about the value of cancer research and related biomedical science in saving lives from cancer.  

For more information about the AACR, visit
Follow the AACR on Twitter: @aacr #aacr
Follow the AACR on Facebook:

About the American Society of Clinical Oncology
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is the world’s leading professional organization representing physicians who care for people with cancer. With more than 30,000 members, ASCO is committed to improving cancer care through scientific meetings, educational programs and peer-reviewed journals. ASCO is supported by its affiliate organization, the Conquer Cancer Foundation, which funds ground-breaking research and programs that make a tangible difference in the lives of people with cancer. For ASCO information and resources, visit Patient-oriented cancer information is available at

About the Association of American Cancer Institutes
Representing 95 of the nation’s premier academic and free-standing cancer research centers, the Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI) is dedicated to aiding its members’ shared mission to eradicate cancer. For more than 30 years, AACI has provided a unified voice for cancer center directors to educate policy leaders and the public about the importance of cancer centers and the role they play in reducing the burden of cancer in their communities:

About Friends of Cancer Research
Friends of Cancer Research (Friends) is a cancer research think tank and advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. Friends is a leader in developing partnerships and advocating for policies that will get treatments and therapies to patients in the safest and quickest way possible. Working with federal health agencies, congressional leadership, academic research centers and private sector industry, Friends continues to create innovative educational, policy and scientific approaches to improve health outcomes and cancer care:

About the Oncology Nursing Society
The Oncology Nursing Society is a professional organization of more than 35,000 registered nurses and other health care professionals committed to excellence in oncology nursing and to leading the transformation of cancer care by initiating and actively supporting educational, legislative and public awareness efforts to improve the care of people with cancer. ONS provides nurses and health care professionals with access to the highest quality educational programs, cancer care resources, research opportunities and networks for peer support. Learn more at

Media Contact:
Tara Yates
(215) 446-7110