Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:  Leonard Lance
Date: Sept. 19, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. LANCE. Mr. Speaker, I rise tonight in strong support of this legislation that I have had the honor of cosponsoring with my friend and colleague, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo of California. The legislation improves the prevention, the diagnosis, and the treatment of cancers with high mortality rates, including pancreatic cancer.

Since President Nixon declared the war on cancer 40 years ago, the overall 5-year survival rate for all a cancers has climbed from approximately 50 percent to 67 percent. There are, however, cancers such as pancreatic cancer that still have high mortality rates and have not seen substantial progress in diagnoses or treatment of the disease. These so-called ``recalcitrant cancers'' are among the deadliest diseases and are the very types of cancers that this bill seeks to address.

This legislation will direct the National Cancer Institute to establish a scientific framework that will guide research efforts on recalcitrant cancers by identifying unanswered medical and scientific questions. This framework seeks to bring together the brightest minds from Federal health agencies, from academia, and from private research fields with the hope of yielding new treatments and cures for recalcitrant cancers.

I thank Chairman Pitts and Ranking Member Pallone of the Health Subcommittee for their steadfast support of the bill; and I thank the chairman of the full committee, Mr. Upton, and the ranking member, Mr. Waxman, for their essential help.

At a time when so many Americans are concerned about the lack of bipartisanship in Congress, this legislation is an example where members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee work together, as we so often do, on critical health care issues. This legislation will reach the President's desk. This is the way Congress should work.

I give special recognition to Congresswoman Eshoo for her tireless efforts, not only in support of this legislation, her legislation, but for her advocacy throughout her public life in support of cancer research and education.

I also thank Senator Whitehouse for his work on this issue. And I thank Jeff Last, of my staff, for all that he has done on this important legislation.

Also, Mr. Speaker, I thank Lisa Swayze for her advocacy in support of the pancreatic cancer issue, advocacy in memory of her husband, the great actor and dancer, Patrick Swayze.

On a personal note, when my twin brother, Jim, and I were 12 years old, we lost our mother to cancer after a valiant 3-year battle. I dedicate whatever modest work I have done on this issue in her memory.

I urge my colleagues to support the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act.

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