The Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act Passes Congress

Home The Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act Passes Congress

September 20, 2012



The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network Urges President Obama to Sign the Legislation into Law

Manhattan Beach, CA (September 20, 2012) — The  Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act (S. 362), formerly known as the Pancreatic Cancer Research & Education Act, has passed in the Senate today and will now be sent to President Obama to sign into law. The Senate passage of the legislation comes just 24 hours after the House unanimously passed the bill on Wednesday.

The bill requires the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to create a long-term plan, referred to as a scientific framework, for pancreatic and other recalcitrant cancers that includes evaluating its current efforts in the disease and making recommendations on ways to accelerate progress and improve outcomes.

“This passage of this bill through Congress is a milestone in the history of pancreatic cancer. On behalf of the entire pancreatic cancer community, we commend the Senate for swiftly passing the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act today and are deeply grateful for the leadership and continued support of Senator Whitehouse,” said Julie Fleshman, president and chief executive officer of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. “This moment would not have been possible if it wasn’t for the incredible commitment and hard work of our activist network. These tireless advocates wrote letters, made phone calls and even traveled to Capitol Hill to advocate for this landmark legislation. Though we still have a long way to go before reaching our goal to double the pancreatic cancer survival rate by 2020, the bill’s passage is something we should all be proud of.”

“We are hopeful that President Obama will quickly sign this legislation into law so the National Cancer Institute can get to work on a strategic plan to fight pancreatic cancer and similarly deadly diseases right away.  While this legislation is just one step in the right direction, it will finally give doctors, clinicians and patients a real roadmap to defeating the disease. Our work is just beginning.”

The Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act, formerly known as the Pancreatic Cancer Research & Education Act, will require the NCI to identify cancers like pancreatic cancer that have low survival rates. Under the bill, the NCI will convene working groups to develop scientific frameworks focused on specific recalcitrant cancers.  The frameworks will identify promising scientific advances, assess the sufficiency of qualified researchers working in relevant specialties, outline a plan to coordinate research, and include recommendations to advance research, including appropriate benchmarks for measuring progress. The legislationis a measured and balanced approach that complements ongoing research efforts at the NCI.  The bill gives the NCI significant discretion to follow the best science, while encouraging the Institute to rigorously evaluate how existing efforts are, and are not, supporting progress in the prevention, detection, diagnosis, and treatment of recalcitrant cancers. 

The Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act provides an opportunity to change the future for pancreatic cancer by implementing a research plan that will lay the groundwork for the development of early detection methods and effective treatment options, which are currently lacking.

Pancreatic cancer currently has a six percent five-year survival rate, the lowest among all major cancer killers. This year alone more than 37,000 Americans will succumb to pancreatic cancer, while nearly 44,000 more will be diagnosed.  And according to a recently released report, the number of pancreatic cancer deaths is on the rise, and it is anticipated to become the second largest cancer killer in the U.S. by 2020, and possibly as early as 2015.

To learn more about the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s advocacy efforts, visit

About the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is the national organization creating hope in a comprehensive way through research, patient support, community outreach and advocacy for a cure. The organization is leading the way to increase the survival rate for people diagnosed with this devastating disease through a bold initiative — The Vision of Progress: Double the Pancreatic Cancer Survival Rate by 2020. Together, we can know, fight and end pancreatic cancer by intensifying our efforts to heighten awareness, raise funds for comprehensive private research, and advocate for dedicated federal research to advance early diagnostics, better treatments and increase chances of survival.


Jennifer Rosen
Senior Manager, Public Relations
Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
Direct: 310-706-3362


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