Congressman McCaul was joined by his fellow co-chair of the Childhood Cancer Caucus Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) as well as Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA) in introducing the legislation in the House and Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) introduced the legislation in the Senate.
The Childhood Cancer STAR Act would improve efforts to identify and track childhood cancer incidences, improve the quality of life for childhood cancer survivors, ensure publicly accessible expanded access policies that provide hope for patients who have run out of options, and identify opportunities to expand the research of therapeutics necessary to treat the 15,780 children diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. every year.
Upon release of the legislation the sponsors made the following statements:
Rep. McCaul: “Childhood cancer patients and their families don’t have high-paid lobbyists advocating on their behalf. The Childhood Cancer STAR Act will give them a stronger voice and more resources to combat this deadly disease, which remains the leading cause of death in American children. I am proud of the many activists in the childhood cancer community who were the drivers behind this legislation which reflects their priorities and hard work. I am also grateful to the National Cancer Institute for assisting us with this bill which will build on and strengthen many great efforts underway in government and the private sector to improve research, treatments and care for pediatric cancer patients, survivors, and their families.”
Rep. Van Hollen: “A child is diagnosed with cancer every three minutes – and one in five children of these children do not survive. With cancer as the leading cause of death among young people in our country, we must do more. As part of that effort, the bipartisan Childhood Cancer STAR Act will help accelerate research for pediatric cancer and improve the care for childhood cancer patients.”
Rep. Speier: “With advances in research and treatment, more and more Americans are beating their cancer, But for many children, the fight does not end with remission. With as many as two-thirds of childhood cancer survivors experiencing secondary cancers or follow-up complications, it is imperative that we have a strategy to improve their care. I’m proud to introduce the Childhood Cancer STAR Act to address this epidemic and improve the quality of life for childhood cancer survivors and their families.”
Senator Reed: “Too many young people’s lives have been cut short by cancer and we need to take action. The Childhood Cancer STAR Act will help young cancer patients and their families get access to potentially life-saving treatments, support survivors, and move us another step closer toward our goal of ending pediatric cancer.”
Senator Capito: “This bipartisan legislation will continue the advances in research, prevention and care for our loved ones and families impacted by childhood cancer. The Childhood Cancer STAR Act gives parents and patients access to the information they need to make vital decisions about treatment and care post-treatment. This legislation will also give those who understand the unique needs of childhood cancer patients a seat at the table when decisions about cancer care are taking place.”
To read the legislative text of the Childhood Cancer STAR Act click here.
A section by section of the bill is located here.
A one-pager on the bill can be found here.