The American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA), the first and only national patient advocacy organization committed to brain tumors, applauds the passage in the U.S. House of Representatives of the “Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access, and Research (STAR) Act.” The measure now must go before the U.S. Senate for consideration.
“Each year in the U.S. an estimated 15,780 children, between birth and 19 years old, are diagnosed with cancer,” stated Elizabeth Wilson, president and CEO, American Brain Tumor Association. “The STAR Act will advance research into pediatric cancers – including pediatric brain tumors – and improve the chance of survival and quality of life for children diagnosed with these deadly cancers.”
Though rare, brain tumors are the most common form of solid tumors among children under the age of 15 and represent about 20 percent of all childhood cancers. Childhood tumors frequently appear in different locations and behave differently than brain tumors in adults.
The bipartisan STAR Act, introduced by U.S. Rep. Mike McCaul (R-TX), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Jackie Speier (D-CA), received the support of 270 Representatives – more than half the membership of the House. The bill would authorize the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to expand existing efforts to collect bio-specimens for childhood cancer patients enrolled in NCI-sponsored clinical trials to collect and maintain relevant clinical, biological and demographic information on all children, adolescents and young adults with cancer.
Building on previous efforts, the bill would also enhance research on the late effects of childhood cancers, improve collaboration among providers so that doctors are better able to care for this population as they age, and establish a new pilot program to begin to explore innovative models of care for childhood cancer survivors.
“On behalf of all children diagnosed with brain tumors and the families who love and care for them, the ABTA expresses its appreciation to the House for this important action,” stated Wilson. “We encourage the Senate to follow suit and pass the bill this week so that the President can sign it into law.”
For more information, visit www.abta.org or call 800-886-ABTA (2282).
About the American Brain Tumor Association
Founded in 1973, the American Brain Tumor Association was the first and is the only national patient advocacy organization committed to funding brain tumor research and providing support and education programs for people of all tumor types and all ages.
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