American Association for Cancer Research

Press Releases: 2009

The AACR Commends Senators Kennedy and Hutchison on the 21st Century Cancer ALERT Act


March 26, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - On Thursday, Senators Edward M. Kennedy and Kay Bailey Hutchison introduced legislation that will renew the war on cancer by modernizing and advancing the national cancer program of the United States.

The 21st Century Cancer ALERT (Access to Life-saving Early detection, Research and Treatment) Act represents an important effort to re-assess the national cancer program and improve cancer research, prevention, detection, control and treatment in the United States. The legislation aims to expand and accelerate the search for cures, more effective treatments and better preventive measures while addressing the ongoing needs of the nearly 12 million Americans struggling with cancer today.

"It is imperative that we move with greater speed to strengthen and expand our nation's efforts to prevent, treat and cure cancer," said Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.), chief executive officer of the American Association for Cancer Research. "The leadership that Senators Kennedy and Hutchison are providing comes at a pivotal moment, when decades of scientific effort are converging to produce a revolution in cancer research and care. The 21st Century Cancer ALERT Act represents a critical step in modernizing the national cancer program and in improving our ability to make headway in the war on cancer."

Since the United States declared war on cancer over four decades ago with the signing of National Cancer Act of 1971, tremendous strides have been made in the understanding of the disease and in the development of therapies that have increased survival and improved the lives of millions. Despite these accomplishments, cancer still kills more than 560,000 Americans each year. Without a greater commitment to cancer research, this number will increase as the baby boom generation grows older. In fact, by 2010, cancer will be the world's number one killer, according to the World Health Organization.

In their endeavor to address the complexities and obstacles confronting the national cancer program, Senators Kennedy and Hutchison have sought input from stakeholders representing every aspect of cancer research and care from the bench to bedside. The AACR applauds their leadership in engaging a wide range of experts to identify key challenges and craft legislation that presents solutions that will foster a new age of discovery and patient care.

"The AACR has been grateful for the opportunity to contribute its expertise in cancer research to this undertaking," said Ray DuBois, M.D., Ph.D., president of the American Association for Cancer Research and provost and executive vice president of The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. "We look forward to working closely with Senators Kennedy and Hutchison to refine this legislation and advance it quickly through Congress for the benefit of cancer patients and their families."

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The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research is to prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1907, AACR is the world's oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research. The membership includes more than 28,000 basic, translational and clinical researchers; health care professionals; and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and 80 other countries. AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise from the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through high-quality scientific and educational programs. It funds innovative, meritorious research grants. The AACR Annual Meeting attracts more than 17,000 participants who share the latest discoveries and developments in the field. Special Conferences throughout the year present novel data across a wide variety of topics in cancer research, treatment, and patient care. AACR publishes five major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; and Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. Its most recent publication and its sixth major journal, Cancer Prevention Research, is dedicated exclusively to cancer prevention, from preclinical research to clinical trials. The AACR also publishes CR, a magazine for cancer survivors, patient advocates, their families, physicians, and scientists. CR provides a forum for sharing essential, evidence-based information and perspectives on progress in cancer research, survivorship, and advocacy.

AACR Media Contact:
Jeremy Moore
267-646-0557
Jeremy.moore@aacr.org