September marks Childhood Cancer Awareness Month; a time when we specifically recognize how this disease impacts the youngest and most vulnerable among us.
It is estimated in the U.S. nearly 15,000 children under age 19 will be diagnosed with cancer this year. However, thanks to advances in research, the five-year survival for childhood cancer patients is at an all-time high. Still, the need to find effective treatments for the toughest childhood cancers and to reduce the almost universally experienced side effects from existing treatments is urgent.
Research is key to better outcomes for childhood cancer patients, which is why ACS CAN and the Alliance for Childhood Cancer (Alliance) gathered on Capitol Hill Sept. 9 for a panel discussion assessing the state of pediatric cancer research and the unique challenges of developing pediatric cancer drugs.
The discussion followed the release of a new groundbreaking report by the American Cancer Societyand the Alliance, which describes the process of developing new pediatric cancer therapies and identifies aspects of research that are particularly challenging in children.
The report follows the development of new therapies from basic research through clinical trials and eventual approval of new cancer drugs for children. Most importantly, the report demonstrates the true impact of childhood cancer through the compelling personal stories of the children and families who have faced it.
ACS CAN, the Alliance and several other childhood cancer partner organizations will continue to work on Capitol Hill to advance the fight against pediatric cancer, including through the Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access and Research (STAR) Act. The STAR Act (H.R. 3381/S. 1883), introduced in the House and Senate last summer, would expand research and advance treatment options for children living with cancer, and improve the quality of life for childhood cancer patients and survivors. ACS CAN strongly supports the STAR Act’s goals and is calling on Congress to move the bill this year.
To view a full copy of the pediatric cancer landscape report, click here.