Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act

Home Get Involved Advocacy Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act

We led the advocacy efforts to pass this critical law in 2012, which creates a scientific framework for pancreatic cancer, focuses national attention on the disease and funds research projects.


Why it Matters

Passage of this legislation, which calls on the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to develop scientific frameworks for cancers with five-year survival rates under 50 percent, was a big win in helping accelerate progress in pancreatic cancer research. The NCI has released a framework for pancreatic adenocarcinoma and has awarded new research grants as a result of the law. We are continuing our push to ensure that the goals of this legislation continue to be advanced, and increasing federal funding for the NCI is an important part of this strategy.


Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act Results

  1. The Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act is signed into law by President Barack Obama. It calls on the NCI to develop scientific frameworks for pancreatic and lung cancers. Read more about the law.

  2. The NCI releases its “Pancreatic Cancer: Scanning the Horizon for Focused Interventions” report, which proposes four initiatives for advancing pancreatic cancer research. The Horizon Scan report forms the basis for the scientific framework for pancreatic cancer required by the Act.


    The NCI and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), with support from the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, meet to discuss exploring the links between diabetes, pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer.

  3. The NCI launches its RAS Initiative, which has the potential to increase survival for pancreatic cancer as well as other forms of cancer that are driven by KRAS, a gene that is mutated in 95 percent of all pancreatic cancer cases.

  4. "Scientific Framework on Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma," the first report required under the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act, is released by the NCI. The framework outlines four key research topics for pancreatic cancer: The role the KRAS gene plays, the link between diabetes and pancreatic cancer, biomarkers for early detection of pancreatic cancer and immunotherapies.

  5. The NIDDK and the NCI create the Consortium to Study Chronic Pancreatitis, Diabetes and Pancreatic Cancer (CSCPDPC).

  6. We partner with the NCI, Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, to award two Fellowship grants to young scientists focused on the study of KRAS in pancreatic cancer. Due to the successful partnership, the organizations offer additional KRAS Fellowships and Travel Scholarship opportunities in 2016 and 2017.

  7. The NCI issues a Program Announcement to establish the Pancreatic Cancer Detection Consortium to improve early detection and characterization of precursor lesions.

  8. Ten clinical centers across the country are approved for funding to study the development of pancreatic cancer in newly diagnosed diabetic patients as part of the CSCPDPC.

  9. President Obama announces the “Cancer Moonshot” to speed progress in developing new treatments and tools for all cancers. We send the White House a letter encouraging them to use this initiative to focus on recalcitrant cancers.

  10. Four new research grant and award recipients are selected in partnership with the National Cancer Institute Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research and will focus on the KRAS mutation, found in 95 percent of pancreatic cancer cases.

  11. NCI/NIH-sponsored session at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting focuses on funding opportunities for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and small-cell lung cancer that were launched in response to the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act.

    One such opportunity announced by the NCI is supplemental funding to support research projects focused on pancreatic cancer. This new funding opportunity is meant to deepen our understanding of the interaction between tumors and the pancreatic cancer microenvironment, so that new immunotherapy strategies can be designed to address it.

  12. As the NCI continues to work on the implementation of each initiative, we look forward to collaborating on next steps and updating Congress on progress.


We Need You!

You speak. Congress listens. Progress happens. The Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act was passed in large part because people like you took action and created the momentum needed for Congress to act. Be heard.

Sign up to receive advocacy action alerts below.

Join Our Advocacy Event of the Year

Advocacy Day is unforgettable, with hundreds gathering to urge their congressional leaders to increase federal funding for pancreatic cancer. Survivors, researchers, health professionals and volunteers from every state turn Capitol Hill purple in a powerful show of support that gets results.

Learn More and Register

Ask Congress for Increased Federal Funding for Pancreatic Cancer Research

Take Action

The Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act

Traversing a Long Road.

Reach Out to Congress on Social Media

Find your Representatives and Senators on Facebook and Twitter.


Wage Hope With Us

Join us to double pancreatic cancer survival by 2020.





shop purple logo

Gear, apparel, accessories and more to show off your purple pride.


Shop Now 

©2018 Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. All rights reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy


Pancreatic Cancer Action Network®, PanCAN®, PurpleStride®, Wage Hope®, Know Your Tumor®, Powerful Knowledge. Personal Treatment.®, Precision Promise℠ and Demand Better For Patients. For Survival.℠ are the trademarks of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, Inc.


The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is registered as a 501©3 nonprofit organization. Contributions to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s tax identification number is #33-0841281.