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Cancer Policy Monitor: September 11, 2018          

AACR Mourns the Loss of Senator John McCain 

The AACR issued a statement mourning the loss of Senator John McCain of Arizona, who passed away on August 25 after battling brain cancer. 

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Appropriations Update from Capitol Hill   

Senate Passes Spending Package Including $2 billion Increase for NIH

On Aug. 23, the Senate voted 85-7 to approve the fiscal year (FY) 2019 Labor-Health and Human Services (HHS)- Education appropriations bill, which was paired in a "minibus" package with the FY 2019 Defense appropriations bill. The vote came after three days of floor debate and discussion that was remarkably free of the partisan rancor and political theater that many feared could result from consideration of a notoriously controversial bill. This is the first time the Labor-HHS appropriations bill has passed the Senate outside of an omnibus package in 12 years, and it marks a significant step forward in the overall process.  

In a statement following the vote, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) praised his Vice-Chairman, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Labor HHS Subcommittee Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO), Labor-HHS Subcommittee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA), and Defense Subcommittee Ranking Member Richard Durbin (D-IL) for their bipartisan leadership and cooperation. The Senate has now passed nine of the annual 12 appropriations bills. 

The Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill passed by the Senate includes $39.1 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH,) a $2 billion increase over FY 2018 and the fourth robust increase for the agency above the rate of biomedical inflation in four years. The bill also includes full funding ($400 million) for the Cancer Moonshot at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and an additional $90 million increase to the NCI's base budget.  

Other highlights from the appropriations package:

The Labor-HHS-Education bill includes $30 million for programs and research to combat childhood cancer through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This funding was authorized in the Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access and Research (STAR) Act.

The Defense portion of the package includes $761.5 million in FY 2019 for the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMPR), which provide a significant amount of funding for cancer research projects. If enacted, this would continue a course of 5 percent real growth in CDMRP funding each year since FY 2014, an effort led by Senator Durbin and his colleagues.

The House and Senate will now negotiate the spending package in a conference committee. The House Appropriations Committee cleared its version the FY19 Labor-HHS-Education spending bill July 11, with a lower NIH funding level of $38.3 billion. However, key appropriators have indicated that negotiators are likely to agree on a level closer to the Senate’s $2 billion increase. The AACR and the medical research advocacy community will continue to push for passage of a final appropriations bill that provides at least a $2 billion increase for the NIH before the end of the fiscal year Sept. 30.

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AACR to Release Cancer Progress Report 2018 at Sept. 12 Briefing on Capitol Hill

The annual AACR Cancer Progress Report to Congress and the American public, now in its eighth edition, is a cornerstone of the efforts of the AACR to educate the public about cancer and the importance of biomedical research, as well as to advocate for increased federal funding for the NIH, NCI, and FDA. This year’s report chronicles how federally-funded research continues to improve lives, and it shows that our ability to fully capitalize on our ever-growing knowledge of cancer is dependent on robust, sustained, and predictable federal funding. The report highlights how recent advances across the clinical cancer care continuum, in particular immunotherapy and molecularly-targeted therapies, are helping cancer patients and their families. This year’s report also focuses on the continued challenges we face in addressing cancer health disparities and cancer survivorship.

The AACR Cancer Progress Report 2018 will be released at a congressional briefing that is open to the public.  

AACR Cancer Progress Report 2018: Harnessing Research Discoveries for Patient Benefit
Wednesday, Sept. 12, Noon EST
Room 2168 (Gold Room), Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C.     
*Lunch will be provided at this widely attended event

RSVP 

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Join the Rally for Medical Research National Day of Action on Sept. 13

On Sept. 13, advocates from around the country will contact their members of Congress with a unified message: We must continue investing in lifesaving medical research at the National Institutes of Health. Find out how you can participate in the event, held in conjunction with the Rally for Medical Research.

The Sixth Annual Rally for Medical Research will be held Thursday, Sept. 13, bringing patient advocates, caregivers, researchers, clinicians and other advocates to Washington, D.C., in support of funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). You can join them by participating in the National Day of Action, also on Sept. 13. Take a moment to contact your members of Congress that day via phone, email, Twitter, Facebook and more, and tell them why federal funding for medical research is so important for you, your family and friends. Find out more about messaging and tools that you can use to contact your members of Congress.

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FDA's "The Real Cost" Campaign Saves more than $31 Billion by Reducing Smoking-Related Costs

In 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched "The Real Cost," the agency's first smoking prevention campaign targeted to youth. The campaign uses paid ads designed for the youth population created using evidence-based practices for tobacco prevention. The ads and messaging were designed to reach and motivate at-risk teen audiences. Two years into the program, a study of the program's cost-effectiveness published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine found that by preventing teens from becoming established smokers, the campaign has resulted in more than $31 billion in cost savings. This cost savings represents a decrease in the financial burden of tobacco-related disease to individuals, their families, and society.

According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 900,000 youths smoke their first cigarette each year. Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the U.S., and is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths each year. Tobacco use is almost always initiated and nicotine addiction established during adolescence. "The Real Cost" campaign was designed to target two subsets of at-risk youth ages 12–17, teens who are open to or already experimenting with cigarettes and rural male teens at risk for smokeless tobacco use. The campaign messages were designed to make this audience acutely aware of the risks of tobacco use by highlighting consequences teens are concerned about such as loss of control due to addiction, dangerous chemicals in tobacco products, and health effects like tooth loss and skin damage. The campaign advertising airs on traditional broadcast media channels such as TV and radio, as well as through a mix of other multimedia channels including web, cinema, print publications, and billboards. To maximize visibility, the campaign engages youth daily on multiple social media platforms, and this social media presence has allowed for youth to authentically engage in peer-to-peer conversations about tobacco use.

Building on its initial successes, in 2017 "The Real Cost" campaign expanded to include teen-focused messages about the dangers of nicotine in e-cigarettes for the developing brain with digital images, online video, and online radio ads. In fall 2018, the campaign plans to develop additional messages about these topics. These efforts are part of the agency's comprehensive plan for tobacco and nicotine regulation. Mitch Zeller, JD, director of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products, reaffirmed the agency's commitment to protecting kids by stating, "As we continue to learn more about these products and their relationship to youth, the agency will be better prepared to help address the issue of youth use through science-based educational efforts and regulatory policies that will ultimately pay the greatest dividends in reducing tobacco-related disease and death."

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Oncology Center of Excellence Publishes Pediatric Molecular Target List

In August, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published the Pediatric Molecular Target List mandated by the Research to Accelerate Cures and Equity (RACE) for Children Act. The list includes molecular targets that have potential relevance to the growth or progression of at least one pediatric cancer and targets for which evidence suggests there is no association with the growth or progression of pediatric tumors. The list is intended to aid in bringing the promise of precision medicine to children with cancer by guiding decision making in the early phases of drug development and shorten the time between the beginning of adult studies and pediatric studies. Small patient populations, formulation challenges, and prioritization considerations are all concerns when treating pediatric patients based on targets from this list. The need for more international, multi-stakeholder collaboration to address these challenges has been a consistent topic for discussion at meetings focused on the subject.

The development of the molecular targets list began with the passage of the RACE for Children Act as part of the 2017 FDA Reauthorization Act (FDARA). This law amended the Pediatric Research Equity Act to remove some exemptions that waived the study of new therapies in pediatric populations and mandated the FDA to create the targets list with input from the National Cancer Institute and the cancer research community. Several public meetings have been held to gather stakeholder input, culminating in the June meeting of the Pediatric Oncology Subcommittee of the Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee where the list was reviewed and approved. The targets list is intended to evolve over time and this ODAC subcommittee will hold regular meetings to review new evidence and consider edits to the list. Notably, the targets list and accompanying legislative amendments do not impact the ability of FDA reviewers to ask for, require, or waive pediatric studies as they feel necessary.

At the 2018 AACR Annual Meeting, a Regulatory Science and Policy Symposium, Implications of the 2017 FDA Reauthorization Act (FDARA) on Pediatric Cancer Drug Development, discussed the FDARA legislation, including the targets list and the importance of stakeholder interaction to advance pediatric cancer drug development. During the session, speakers presented perspectives from the FDA, industry, academia, and patient advocacy viewpoints. Among them, Gilles Vassal, MD, PhD, shared the work of the ACCELERATE platform in the European Union. This platform is already leveraging multi-stakeholder collaboration across Europe to set priorities and develop strategies for pediatric oncology drug development. For the targets list to be leveraged successfully by industry, cross-sector collaboration will be essential to researchers and drug developers as they plan to address the unique challenges of pediatric oncology and investigate these potential targets for pediatric cancers.

To learn more about the RACE for Children Act and the Pediatric Molecular Target List, listen to the publicly available webcast of our 2018 Annual Meeting session.

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Confronting Harassment in Science

With the rise of the #MeToo movement, women in science have become empowered to speak out against the abuse they have endured the halls of academia. Nearly 50 percent of women in science report that they have experienced harassment, and bullying allegations have been reported at major U.S. and international institutions. These revelations have spurred the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) to conduct a consensus study to examine the extent to which sexual harassment in academia negatively impacts the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women pursuing scientific, engineering, technical, and medical careers.  

The NASEM study report addresses three forms of sexual harassment: 1) gender harassment (sexist hostility and crude behavior), 2) unwanted sexual attention (unwelcome verbal or physical sexual advances), and 3) sexual coercion (when favorable professional or educational treatment is conditioned on sexual activity). The report states that these forms of harassment have adverse impacts on women's careers and are jeopardizing progress toward closing the gender gap in science. Additionally, harassment often results in women stepping down from leadership opportunities to avoid their transgressor, leaving their institution, or leaving their field altogether.

The report concludes that there is no evidence that current policies, procedures, and approaches have resulted in a significant reduction in sexual harassment. The cumululative result of these incidents has caused significant damage to research integrity and a costly loss of talent. The report states that the solution to this pervasive problem will require a "systematic change to the culture and climate in higher education." Finally, the report makes recommendations on what academic institutions need to do to address and prevent all forms of sexual harassment and recommends that sexual harassment be considered of equal importance as research misconduct affecting the integrity of research. These recommendations include: addressing the academic culture and climate to create a diverse, inclusive, and respectful environment; improving transparency and accountability; diffusing hierarchical and dependent relationships between trainees and faculty; and providing support for victims of harassment.

Although NASEM published this report, they face criticism for not expelling academy members who have been sanctioned for sexual harassment, retaliation, or assault. In response to a petition that gathered over 3,500 signatures, NASEM stated that they have begun a discussion on the standards of professional conduct for its members, but their current bylaws do not include a sexual harassment policy or any mechanism for expelling members found guilty of problematic behavior. Jessica Cantlon, PhD, a cognitive neuroscientist in the process of leaving her institution following a lawsuit against the university over its handling of sexual harassment allegations against a colleague in Cantlon's department, has called the recommendations in the report strong but lamented that it is still up to individual institutes to interpret and enforce them.

Some national and international funding institutions are taking steps to suspend or eliminate research grants after an institution finds that a grantee committed harassment. Earlier this year, the National Science Foundation announced a new policy that requires institutions to remove investigators who have committed harassment from funded projects. The policy also requires grantee institutions to establish "clear and unambiguous standards of behavior to ensure harassment-free workplaces, including scientific conferences, and to set up accessible and evident methods for all personnel, including students, to report violations." In the U.K., The Wellcome Trust revoked a $4.5 million grant to a renowned cancer geneticist following allegations that she bullied scientists and staff members. Finally, this issue has attracted interest in Congress as Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) sent a letter to Francis Collins, MD, PhD, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to express their concern about harassment in the academic sciences and ask about how NIH is working to prevent and address harassment and discrimination among NIH-funded research settings. The members asked whether NIH planned to adopt NASEM recommendations to address harassment of women in the academic sciences and urged NIH to do more to hold grantees accountable for fostering inclusive environments and preventing harassment.

On Nov. 9, 2018, NASEM will continue the discussion of these recommendations by hosting a convocation on developing policies and implementing procedures and practices to prevent harassment in academia. Hopefully, the scientific community can come together to ensure that academia is a safe place for everyone to pursue breakthroughs and discoveries.

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Financial Hardship Strikes Childhood Cancer Survivors Later in Life

The cost of cancer care is well-recognized as placing a major financial burden on cancer patients and their families. Increasing attention is being paid to the continuing costs and financial challenges cancer survivors face even after their treatment ends. Patients who have undergone cancer treatments like radiation and chemotherapy face higher likelihood of having additional cancers, heart and lung problems, seizures, and other serious health conditions. These late effects of cancer treatment often require cancer survivors to have enhanced medical care throughout their lifetimes, significantly increasing costs and stress related to the ability to afford health care. Childhood and young-adult cancer survivors face especially daunting long-term and cumulative financial burdens associated with cancer and its after-effects, given that they confront these challenges for many decades. The long-term out of pocket health care costs are often compounded by other factors childhood cancer survivors can face including delayed entry into the workforce and gaps in insurance coverage.

A recent study by researchers at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital examined factors that put childhood cancer survivors at higher risk of financial hardship and specific challenges survivors face. The study found that more than half of childhood cancer survivors indicated concern about their ability to afford health care expenses and more than one-fifth had faced health care-related financial challenges. In addition, one-third of the study participants reported skipping medical care because of cost. Financial hardship was found to be more frequent among those with lower education levels and lower household income. Financial hardship was also more prevalent amongst older survivors, who also reported more health expense-related stress and foregoing medical care. Furthermore, survivors who suffered severe late effects of cancer treatment like heart attack, pain, and infertility experienced financial challenges more frequently than those with mild effects.

The Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access and Research (STAR) Act, signed into law in June 2018, has several provisions that focus on follow-up care for childhood cancer survivors. The legislation directs the Comptroller General to investigate barriers to complete and coordinated survivorship care, including financial and coverage challenges, and make recommendations to Congress to mitigate identified barriers. The bill also recommends that the National Institutes of Health support studies to investigate causes of disparities for medically underserved cancer survivors, including socioeconomic and financial challenges. This legislation, additional research, and the continued passionate work of the advocacy community can help drive solutions that better support childhood cancer survivors and ensure they do not face financial hardship as an additional late effect of their treatment.

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National Cancer Institute Director Dr. Norman E. Sharpless to be Keynote Speaker for AACR Science of Cancer Health Disparities Conference

The AACR is pleased to announce that Dr. Norman (Ned) E. Sharpless, director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), will be the keynote speaker at the AACR Science of Cancer Health Disparities conference in New Orleans. The purpose of the conference is to advance the understanding of, and ultimately help to eliminate, the disparities along the cancer continuum that represent a major public health problem in our country. Learn more about the conference and register

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Capitol Corner: AACR Interviews Members of Congress

Every month, the AACR will be interviewing members of Congress to get their personal story and views on cancer research. This month, we interviewed Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Alabama) and Congressman Markwayne Mullin (R-Oklahoma)

Read our previous interviews with Senator John Boozman (R-Arkansas), Congressman Steve Stivers (R-Ohio), Senator Maggie Hassan (D-New Hampshire), Congresswoman Kristi Noem (R-South Dakota), Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia), Congressman Joseph Crowley (D-New York), Senator Jon Tester (D-Montana), Congressman Dave Reichert (R-Washington), Senator Gary Peters (D-Michigan), Congressman Charlie Crist (D-Florida), Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), Congressman Dwight Evans (D-Pennsylvania), Senator Chuck Grassley(R-Iowa), Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin), Congressman Brett Guthrie (R-Kentucky) and Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (D-Washington).

Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Alabama)

Can you share with our readers, many of whom are cancer survivors, advocates, and researchers, your personal connection to cancer?

Cancer has impacted the lives of everyone in some way. Both of my parents had cancer. My mother was a breast cancer survivor. So, I saw firsthand the struggle but also the joy that comes with overcoming the cruel disease. On the other side of the coin, my father eventually lost his battle with lung cancer. So, I have also dealt with the harsh reality of cancer. Those two stories are in addition to the so many friends and acquaintances who have undergone treatment for various cancer diagnoses and many who are still battling the disease today.

How has the experience of dealing with cancer in your community, both personally and from stories you've heard from your constituents, shaped your views as a policymaker and a public official?

It is truly heartbreaking any time you have to watch someone you love battle an illness such as cancer. Seeing someone in that condition stop you on the street or come to the office for a meeting gives you a heightened sense of urgency when dealing with policy that could influence the outcome of a cancer diagnosis. The stories are sometimes painful to hear, but they serve as fuel to remind us of how our work on things like medical research affect our community.

What would you say to your colleagues in the legislative branch about the role of federal investment in medical research and cancer research in our nation?

There is always room for innovation in the medical field, and the federal government plays a role in that, particularly in research that the private sector isn't doing. I have always been a strong believer in efforts that allow for partnerships between the public and private sector. That partnership has allowed us to come a long way in technology and research, but more work remains. Ultimately, the federal government must play a leading role in medical research and public health initiatives.

How can groups like the AACR and patient advocates best communicate the importance of medical research to the members of Congress? Do you think we have made progress in terms of raising awareness of the importance of National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding to saving lives and helping the American economy?

Tell your stories, both the victories and defeats. Demonstrate the real-world impact of how decisions we make in Congress are impacting men and women back in our home states. No one is immune to the challenges of cancer; so tell those personal stories and put a face on the fight against cancer. I absolutely think we are making progress. Medical research is a largely bipartisan issue that brings members of Congress together, and that is how it should be. Cancer doesn't pick Republicans or Democrats, and we shouldn't allow partisan fights to restrict our efforts to find a cure.

Can you tell us more about other efforts—legislation and otherwise—that you have worked on in support of better prevention, detection and treatment of cancer?

It is not often that Congress passes legislation that can actually save lives. However, in 2016, I was proud to see the 21st Century Cures Act be signed into law. The bill brings health research, the drug approval process, and mental health programs into the 21st Century and gives much needed hope to millions of Americans who suffer from various diseases. I was also thrilled to see additional funding in the Fiscal Year 2017 and 2018 appropriations bills for medical research at the NIH and throughout the federal government.

In my district, we also have facilities that are working to detect, diagnose, and treat cancer patients. Specifically, the Mitchell Cancer Institute at the University of South Alabama in Mobile has been transformative in providing quality treatment for those battling cancer. From doctors and caregivers to the patients themselves, this academic cancer treatment and research facility is breaking ground every day and working to mold the next generation of caretakers. I have also visited the Gulf Coast Cancer Center in Brewton, which provides radiation treatment for a large population, including those in more rural communities. From our large hospitals to our smaller treatment facilities, I am proud of the impact that medical experts are making here in Southwest Alabama.

The AACR is the world's first and largest organization dedicated to every aspect of high quality cancer research. The AACR has 40,000 members across all states, as well as members in over 120 countries. Do you have anything you would like to say to the AACR and our scientists and physicians who have dedicated their careers to making progress against cancer?

Keep up the fight and know that the vast majority of lawmakers in Washington are standing with you. Being in Congress, I know what it feels like to be going up against a tall challenge, but I have all the confidence in the world that new treatments will come forward every day to increase the quality of life for those with cancer and that we will find a cure to cancer. The work you do makes a difference, and I hope you take great pride in what you do.

Is there anything we didn't discuss that you would like to add?

The stories of loss and heartbreak as a result of diseases like cancer resonate across all demographics. No one is immune to cancer, and while this may be discouraging in some aspects of this field, ultimately, if one life can be saved as a result of the work you are doing, then all of the efforts are worth it.

Congressman Markwayne Mullin (R-Oklahoma):

Can you share with our readers, many of whom are cancer patients, advocates, and researchers, your personal connection to cancer?

Cancer touches nearly all families and communities. My wife Christie lost both of her grandparents to cancer. We've lost friends in our community to cancer and colleagues in Congress to cancer. It's always personal when someone you know and love is diagnosed with cancer.

How has the experience of dealing with cancer in your community, both personally and from stories you've heard from your constituents, shaped your views as a policymaker and a public official?

I represent Oklahoma's second congressional district and over a year ago, Gary and Mariah McAlpin who live in the second district reached out to my office about their two-year-old son, Kai. At the time, Kai was battling T-Cell leukemia and so the McAlpins came to Washington several times to advocate for the RACE for Children Act. Even though Warrior Kai is no longer with us, his memory is alive in the spirit of the kids who have a fighting chance against pediatric cancer because of the RACE for Children Act, which President Trump signed into law in August 2017.  The RACE for Children Act now will deliver new, lifesaving treatments to pediatric cancer patients and ensures kids like Kai have access to the most promising drugs available.

As a father, I would do anything for my kids. As a policymaker and public official, I have the unique ability to help parents like Gary and Mariah McAlpin do more for their kids by passing legislation that allows their kids to have the best chance possible at beating pediatric cancer. 

What would you say to your colleagues in the legislative branch about the role of federal investment in medical research and cancer research in our nation?

It takes ten years to bring a drug to market. If we are not investing now, we won't have cures for the future. At the end of 2016, I supported a bill called the 21st Century Cures Act. This legislation set the regulatory framework to allow medical innovators the ability to produce cures and provided the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with an additional $4.8 billion in new funding. By investing in our medical infrastructure today, we set ourselves up for accelerated treatments and cures in the future, saving billions of taxpayer dollars. For example, if we find a cure that delays Alzheimer's by five years we will save an estimated $935 billion in just the first ten years.

How can groups like the AACR and patient advocates best communicate the importance of medical research to the members of Congress? Do you think we have made progress in terms of raising awareness of the importance of National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding to saving lives and helping the American economy?

I always tell my constituents that if you have a story to tell, find a way to tell it to your representatives in Congress because if you don't tell your story, who will? Whether it's planning a day on Capitol Hill or a community sending a message to D.C. from back home, like the McAlpin family, it's important to make sure your legislators hear your story directly from you. 

The 21st Century Cures Act that was made law in December 2016 invested an additional $4.8 billion into the NIH. Advocates need to keep telling their stories to their members of Congress in Washington. This Congress and the members of the Energy and Commerce Committee understand the important role that the NIH plays in improving American lives. As we've seen a growing need from the health community, Congress has consistently appropriated an increase in funding for the innovative efforts at the NIH. As a member of the committee of jurisdiction, I can tell you firsthand that we're listening. 

Can you tell us more about other efforts—legislation and otherwise—that you have worked on or are currently working on in support of better prevention, detection and treatment of cancer?

I'm a member of the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over the National Institutes of Health and biomedical research and development. I'm also a co-chair of the bipartisan Men's Health Caucus. The caucus encourages men to lead active, healthy lives on a regular basis. As a caucus, we hold briefings about the importance of a healthy lifestyle and facilitating prostate cancer screenings. Every so often, I'll hold a workout for members of Congress and staff to encourage maintaining good physical fitness, which is important in preventing a number of cancers. Recently, I signed a letter along with the rest of the Oklahoma delegation to designate the Stephenson Cancer Center at the University of Oklahoma as a National Cancer Institute (NCI) center. This designation would make sure that Oklahomans have access to the newest research-based treatments and the highest standard of cancer care.

The AACR is the world's first and largest organization dedicated to every aspect of high quality cancer research. The AACR has 40,000 members across all states as well as members in over 120 countries. Do you have anything you would like to say to the AACR and our scientists and physicians who have dedicated their careers to making progress against cancer?

First and foremost, I have to say thank you. It's because of organizations like the AACR whose members dedicate their lives to cancer research that our family members and friends who receive that terrible diagnosis are better off now than they were 10 years ago with the progress that's been made. I'm grateful for your dedication to an issue that touches so many of our lives. I'd encourage all members of AACR to continue being advocates for this worthy cause. Keep coming to Washington to tell your story and keep fighting the good fight. 

Is there anything we didn't discuss that you would like to add?

The 21st century has opened the door to so many new opportunities and scientific discoveries that bring us closer to better understanding, and ultimately curing, cancer. Looking ahead at breakthrough technology, we are hopeful that we will make serious strides in finding treatments and cures for cancers. For instance, just recently the FDA has made groundbreaking strides to approve new gene therapy treatments for forms of cancer like B-cell lymphoma. One of its latest gene therapies reprograms a patient's own cells to attack a deadly cancer. I'm hopeful that in the future, our country can continue to be a leader in cancer research so that more Americans can live longer, healthier, cancer-free lives.

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