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Advocacy Alert – May 2020

May 2020

National Cancer Research Month, observed each May, recognizes the importance of cancer research and the contributions of researchers, physician-scientists, patients with cancer, survivors, and patient advocates around the world who are dedicated to the eradication of cancer.  

This year, many of the AACR’s more than 47,000 members are contributing their scientific, research, clinical, and advocacy expertise to the worldwide effort to address the COVID-19 pandemic and to caring for those suffering from the novel coronavirus. Even as we honor all those who are working tirelessly against COVID-19, the AACR continues to support the ongoing research needed to drive further progress against cancer.

Thanks to spectacular advances in cancer research, more than 16.9 million people in the United States and millions more around the world are living with, through, and beyond their diagnoses. Despite that progress, far too many people continue to suffer and die due to cancer.

We hope you will take a moment at this extraordinary time to show your strong support of pioneering cancer research that is saving lives every day. 

#NCRM20 #ResearchSavesLives #AACRAdvocates

Learn about resources created by nonprofit patient advocacy leaders to help patients with cancer navigate their treatment and care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

CARES Act Update

A fourth COVID-19 legislative package was recently signed by President Trump to supplement efforts by the CARES Act to assist small businesses, nonprofits and hospitals. The bill provides an immediate $321 billion infusion for the Paycheck Protection Program. Funding was also included for the CDC, NIH, and FDA. 

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was recently signed into law to provide fast and direct economic assistance for American workers and families, small businesses, and preserve jobs for American industries.  Many patient advocacy organizations and nonprofits utilized the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Disaster Loans (EIDL) to support their operations. Last week, a fourth COVID-19 legislative package was signed by President Trump to provide emergency aid to small businesses, nonprofits and hospitals. Funding was also included for the CDC, NIH, and FDA. The bill provides an immediate $321 billion infusion for the PPP, the small business rescue fund that ran out of money. The package also provides another $60 billion in economic disaster loans (EIDL) for small businesses, $75 billion in emergency relief for hospitals, and $25 billion to ramp up coronavirus testing.

Learn more information about the CARES Act.

To learn more about the federal policies that influence cancer research, subscribe to the AACR Cancer Policy Monitor.

AACR Virtual Annual Meeting

The AACR Virtual Annual Meeting l was embraced with incredible enthusiasm. The historic and groundbreaking two-day virtual meeting attracted a vast worldwide audience, with more than 61,000 registrants from 140 countries. Sessions are available for on-demand viewing until Virtual Annual Meeting ll, to be held June 22-24.

AACR Virtual Annual Meeting II will feature the spectacular Opening Plenary Session that had been planned for San Diego, which explores the range of impactful cancer research and its clinical translation; award lectures from individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the cancer field; a special presentation from National Cancer Institute Director Ned Sharpless, MD; 70 educational sessions and methods workshops; and 4,400 proffered papers in minisymposia and e-posters. Access to the AACR Virtual Annual Meeting II will be free to everyone. While access to the meeting will be free, you will be required to register to view the meeting. Registration for the meeting will open within the next few weeks; a link to the registration site will be posted to the AACR website when it is available.

Addressing Disparities

The COVID-19 pandemic has shined a light on longstanding racial and ethnic health-related disparities. AACR is leading efforts to address the disparities in cancer incidence and mortality faced by minorities and the medically underserved through a number of programs, including SSP for patient advocates at the annual Cancer Health Disparities Conference. Below you will find information about AACR’s patient advocacy involvement in this crucial area of research.

  • Physician-scientist, Dr. Olufunmilayo (Funmi) Olopade, has integrated genetics into cancer risk assessment and treatment in the discussion of health care disparities.  In Leading Discoveries, a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, she speaks about her dedication to reducing disparities.
  • Dr. Brian Rivers, a past mentor and speaker of the Scientist↔Survivor Program, provided details on cancer outcomes in underrepresented populations in Cancer Today article, Taking Step to address Cancer Disparities. He outlines the importance of advocating for research and policies this issue.

FDA Listening Session for Patient Advocates

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are recording a listening session for patient advocates that will be released shortly. The session will offer participants an opportunity to learn more about cancer clinical trials during COVID-19 and the recently issued COVID-19 Related Guidance Documents for Industry, FDA Staff, and Other Stakeholders.

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