Senate Hearing Focuses on Cancer Research Challenges
On May 8, a panel of cancer survivors, advocates, and researchers testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions at a hearing on cancer. The topics discussed included prevention, access to health care, insurance coverage, and cancer research.
The legislators and panelists called for greater emphasis on prevention and early detection and increased access to health care. Mr. Case stressed the need for greater innovation in cancer research and more interagency and public-private collaborations. He also suggested that a computer industry-like approach may reinvigorate current biomedical research strategies that have stalled. Ms. Moddelmog and several other panelists urged the committee to mandate health insurance coverage for clinical trials to increase participation.
Committee Chairman Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) announced his intention to introduce legislation, co-sponsored by Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), encouraging a comprehensive approach to cancer research, rather than placing an emphasis on one or more types of cancer. Dr. Benz concurred, saying he favors studying molecular signatures and other biological identifiers of cancers rather than continuing to focus on cancers in specific organ sites.
An archived webcast of the hearing can be found at http://help.senate.gov/Hearings/2008_05_08/2008_05_08.html.