​​​​​​AACR Congressional Briefings

Throughout the year, the AACR hosts several congressional briefings designed to educate members of Congress and their staff about many of the issues facing cancer researchers, clinicians, and advocates.

Recent Event

E-cigarettes:  Striking a Balance Between Preventing Youth Nicotine Addiction and Helping Current Adult Smokers Quit Combustible Cigarettes    

E-cigarettes were the most commonly used tobacco product among U.S. middle school and high school students for the fourth year in a row according to a 2018 CDC Report. Among youth who had used an e-cigarette, 17 percent indicated their reason for use was that they believe they are less harmful than other forms of tobacco such as cigarettes. While e-cigarettes are likely less harmful to health than combustible cigarettes, there is also clear evidence that vaping can cause harm, especially when initiated at a young age. Because these products are new, many of the potential long-term harms are still unknown. As such, the U.S. Surgeon General recently declared e-cigarette use in young Americans a major public health concern.  
The quickly rising rates of e-cigarette use in this population and high nicotine content of popular products like Juul have raised questions of whether we are now at high risk for addicting another generation to the harmful effects associated with nicotine.
This briefing updated the audience on the latest science pertaining to the effects and content of e-cigarettes and discussed the growing problem of youth use of e-cigarettes including a first-hand perspective of their impact from a reporter with The New Yorker. In addition, expert speakers offered potential solutions for halting the alarming rise in youth e-cigarette use, balanced with a need for research into whether these products could be effectively used for supporting smoking cessation in current adult nicotine users.

Honorary Co-Chairs:

The Honorable Dick Durbin, U.S. Senator from the state of Illinois
The Honorable Jackie Speier, U.S. Representative,14th Congressional district of California


Roy S. Herbst, MD, PhD, Chief of Medical Oncology, Yale Cancer Center; Chair, AACR Tobacco and Cancer Subcommittee

Brian Maslowski, Seminar Instructor, Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs, Fairfax County Public Schools, Virginia

Rachel Grana Mayne, PhD, MPH, Program Director, Tobacco Control Research Branch, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Jia Tolentino, Staff Writer, The New Yorker

Benjamin Toll, PhD, Professor of Public Health Sciences and Psychiatry, Chief of Tobacco Cessation and Health Behaviors, Co-Director of Lung Cancer Screening Program, Hollings Cancer Center, Medical University of South Carolina; AACR Tobacco and Cancer Subcommittee member

Past Briefings

AACR Unveils the Cancer Progress Report 2017

The annual AACR Cancer Progress Report to Congress and the American public, now in its seventh edition, is a cornerstone of the efforts of the AACR to educate the public about cancer and the importance of biomedical research, as well as to advocate for increased federal funding for the NIH, NCI, and FDA. This year’s report chronicles how federally funded research continues to improve lives, and it shows that our ability to fully capitalize on our ever-growing knowledge of cancer is dependent on robust, sustained, and predictable federal funding. The report highlights how recent advances across the clinical cancer care continuum, in particular immunotherapy and molecularly-targeted therapies, are helping cancer patients and their families. This year’s report also focuses on the continued challenges we face in addressing cancer health disparities.

Sept. 13, 2017. Learn More and watch the briefing video.

AACR-SITC Joint Congressional Briefing

Progress in Immuno-oncology: Delivering Hope and Clinical Benefit to Cancer Patients

One of the most promising areas of cancer research is the field of immuno-oncology. Scientists are discovering new ways to arm a patient’s immune system so that it can attack cancer cells, and the result has been one of the most transformative approaches to cancer treatment that has ever entered the clinic. For many patients, cancer immunotherapies are already providing lifesaving results where other treatments had failed or were not viable. But realizing more breakthroughs in this area and broadening the scope of cancers that can be treated with immuno-oncology requires a sustained, federal investment in cancer research through the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute.                        

July 19, 2017. Learn More and watch the briefing video.

AACR Congressional Briefing at the AACR Annual Meeting 2017

During the AACR Annual Meeting 2017, the AACR held a special congressional briefing at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center. The briefing aimed to bring the science and expertise from the AACR Annual Meeting to Capitol Hill by sharing the latest cancer research and developments with Congressional staff. Congresswoman Diana DeGette provided opening remarks. Leading this event was Science Policy and Government Affairs Committee Chair Dr. George Demetri, and joining him on the panel was Dr. Anna Barker, former deputy director of the National Cancer Institute; Dr. Chanita Hughes-Halbert, AT&T distinguished endowed chair in cancer equity at the Hollings Cancer Center, Medical University of South Carolina; patient advocate Jack Whelan; and AACR Associate Member Andreana N. Holowatyj.
April 4, 2017

AACR Unveils the Cancer Progress Report 2016
This sixth report on research-powered advances against cancer highlights that progress is continuing at a spectacular pace. These advances are transforming millions of lives, like those of the 15 individuals featured within the report.
Sept. 21, 2016

Seizing Today's Opportunities to Accelerate Cancer Research​
An update on the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative and a dialogue with early-career investigators.
June 28, 2016