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LCA-GA Hails Senate Leadership on Lung Cancer Mortality Reduction Act

Atlanta, GA [December 7, 2009]-- Today, Lung Cancer Alliance-Georgia (LCA-GA) acknowledged Senators Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) for their leadership and support in establishing the first ever multi-agency, comprehensive program targeted at lung cancer.

Entitled Lung Cancer Mortality Reduction Act of 2009, S.332 authorizes a five year program to reduce the mortality rate of lung cancer which continues to be the number one cause of cancer deaths both nationally and in the state of Georgia.  Lung cancer causes more deaths each year than breast, prostate, colon, kidney, melanoma and liver cancers combined.

"Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among men and women. Anything that can be done to increase the parity in funding for this deadly disease will be a significant advance in reducing cancer morbidity and mortality,” commented Senator Chambliss. “This legislation is a strong step in the right direction."

“We must make every effort to address lung cancer comprehensively and not overlook the import of earlier detection and better disease management,” said Senator Isakson.  “This is how we are going to make a difference in lung cancer mortality,”

In thanking the senators for their support, LCA-GA Chair and lung cancer survivor, Ed Levitt said, “Senators Chambliss and Isakson are looked to as leaders on cancer issues and their co-sponsorships of this breakthrough legislation is very significant.  We sincerely thank them and look forward to working to continue to improve lung cancer outcomes in Georgia and beyond.”

The bill requires the Secretaries of Health and Human Services, Defense and Veterans Affairs to combine forces on a comprehensive, coordinated plan of action with funding authorized for five years to accomplish the mortality reduction goal.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is required to review its funding priorities in order to meet the lung cancer mortality reduction goal and more national institutes are called on directly to take part, including the National Institute of Heart, Lung and Blood, the National Institute of  Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering and the National Institute for Environmental Health

To insure accountability, the bill requires an annual report to Congress and creates an oversight board composed of the three Cabinet Secretaries and representatives from the fields of lung cancer treatment, research and advocacy.

In addition, the bill directs the Secretaries of Department of Defense (DOD) and Veterans’ Affairs (VA) to implement an early detection and disease management program for military personnel who are at high risk for lung cancer because of smoking or exposure to carcinogens during active duty.

The bill also:

  •     Authorizes the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to create a new Lung Cancer Mortality Reduction drug program with incentives for new treatments, targeted therapies, vaccines and chemoprevention drugs for precancerous conditions.
  •     Requires the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to carry out an early disease research program targeted at the high incidence and mortality rates among minority and low-income populations.

The bill includes specific authorizations of $75,000,000 for certain NIH agencies in FY10 and authorizes such additional sums as may be necessary for all the cited agencies to accomplish the goal for FY 2010 through FY2014.