Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act Spurs Immediate Action

In response to the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) held a meeting last October with a working group of leading research experts in the field of pancreatic cancer. Recently, the NCI issued a report from that meeting entitled “Pancreatic Cancer: Scanning the Horizon for Focused Interventions.” This meeting report will form the basis for the full report required by the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act, which is expected to be presented to Congress later this year. We are thrilled that the NCI has taken the first step toward implementing a scientific framework called for in the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act. As such, we issued a press statement congratulating NCI’s leadership in issuing this initial report and on taking an important step toward accelerating scientific advances for pancreatic cancer.

The release of this report, which includes the identification of priority research initiatives in pancreatic cancer, further emphasizes the importance of our continuous advocacy efforts. In June, the organization hosted our annual Advocacy Day in DC with over 550 survivors, family members, researchers and supporters to urge Congress to create a permanent fix to sequestration and provide sustained and adequate funding for the NIH and NCI. These efforts are more vital than ever to ensure that we are able to leverage the opportunities that come out of the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act, like those identified in the recent report released by NCI.

As part of our advocacy efforts, we have asked each member of Congress to demonstrate their support of sustained adequate funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and NCI by delivering a floor speech asking their colleagues in Congress to address these issues and citing the growing threat of pancreatic cancer as an example of why Congress must act on this request.

Thanks to the efforts of our volunteers across the country, Congress has heard our call and begun to respond. Some members have delivered the speeches we requested (calling for an end to sequestration and providing sustained adequate medical research funding) and some have made speeches raising awareness about pancreatic cancer, but have not specifically addressed the remaining part of our request. Please help us and email your member of Congress to thank them if they have already delivered a floor speech or contact them if they have yet to do so. You will be able to quickly determine whether your member of Congress has already delivered a floor speech after you click the link above.

We have come so far in our efforts and demonstrated our strength as an organization and a community when the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act was signed into law on January 2, 2013. Now, we must ensure that the NCI has sustained adequate funding to leverage the strategic priorities and opportunities that come out of the scientific framework required by the bill. We are making history for pancreatic cancer and we have shown that every voice does indeed count, so let’s continue the drumbeat and make sure that pancreatic cancer is a national priority.