Today, the Childhood Cancer STAR (Survivorship, Treatment, Access and Research) Act was signed into law.
This pivotal moment marks a major victory for brain tumor and pediatric cancer patients and families who have advocated for the bill’s passage since 2015. National Brain Tumor Society had the privilege and opportunity to directly contribute to the formation of the bill and, as a member of the Alliance for Childhood Cancer, to help champion its passage.
The Childhood Cancer STAR Act is the most comprehensive childhood cancer legislation taken up by Congress in decades. This bipartisan bill is designed to advance pediatric cancer research and child-focused cancer treatments, while also improving childhood cancer surveillance, as well as providing enhanced resources for survivors and those impacted by kids’ cancers.
The bill was approved by unanimous consent in both the Senate and House of Representatives.
The following is a statement from David F. Arons, JD, Chief Executive Officer, National Brain Tumor Society, on the passage of the Childhood Cancer STAR Act:
“Today’s signing of the Childhood Cancer STAR Act by President Trump marks a major milestone for advancing pediatric brain tumor and childhood cancer research and improving surveillance and survivorship programs. This victory is a signal that Congress is prioritizing childhood cancer.
The STAR Act’s impact will be particularly significant for pediatric brain tumor patients, families, and advocates, as brain tumor are the leading cause of cancer-related death for all children and adolescents under the age of 20, now accounting for three out of every 10 cancer deaths in American kids. As such, the National Brain Tumor Society has championed this bill from its initial inception, through its votes in Congress, to today’s bill signing, directly contributing to its content and helping push it through the legislative process. We are beyond thrilled and grateful to see it cross the finish line.
The policies encompassed in this comprehensive and bipartisan legislation will provide much-needed authority to the National Institutes of Health, as well as, ultimately, increased funding aimed at improving the collection of biospecimens and improvement in the monitoring of trends that inform scientific efforts that portend the development of new treatments. Importantly, the STAR Act will also enable the creation of survivorship care models that address late-effects of those children surviving their illness.
As a leading organization representing the estimated more than 28,000 children living with brain tumors in the United States, their families and loved ones, we offer our sincere gratitude to the leadership and commitment of the bills’ original sponsors: Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Jack Reed (D-RI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA), as well as Representatives Michael McCaul (R-TX), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Mike Kelly (R-PA) and G.K. Butterfield (D-NC). In addition, we thank the leadership in both chambers, to include, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and Subcommittee on Health Chairman Michael Burgess (R-TX), and Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN). We also share congratulations with our fellow members of the Alliance for Childhood Cancer and the Coalition Against Childhood Cancer, who tirelessly helped craft and advocate for this bill.
We urge now Congress to quickly move to carve out funding for the bill’s programs in the ongoing Fiscal Year 2019 appropriations process.”
This is another example of the irreplaceable value that NBTS provides to the brain tumor community, especially when it comes to public policy initiatives. To join our public policy advocacy program, please visit braintumor.org/your-voice