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By Richard Asinof
WASHINGTON – A bill introduced by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse to support efforts to identify new research methods for cancer treatments and cures, the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act of 2012, was reported out of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Sept. 19.
The proposed bill would support focused research efforts on cancers with five-year relative survival rates below 50 percent, such as those that develop in the pancreas, lung, liver and ovaries. If the bill becomes law, the director of the National Cancer Institute would convene working groups of federal and non-federal representatives, each focused on a specific recalcitrant cancer, to assist in developing scientific frameworks.
“This bill will help the National Cancer Institute to collaborate with researchers and advocates in the pursuit of promising new research to advance the treatment of these cancers, and the search for a cure,” said Whitehouse. “I’ve met with too many Rhode Islanders who have lost a loved one to these deadly cancers. On their behalf, I am proud to sponsor this legislation, and I urge the Senate to move swiftly to get it passed.”
The bill has been approved by the U.S. House of Representatives and may be “hot lined” for approval by the U.S. Senate, according to Whitehouse spokesman Seth Larson. If that happened, the bill would be passed by unanimous consent by the Senate and then head to the President’s desk for signing in the next few days, according to Larson.
Whitehouse’s legislation, “Commission To Accelerate the End of Breast Cancer,” is still before the committee.