ASCO Commends Senators Kennedy and Hutchison for the 21st Century ALERT Act

March 27, 2009

Jenny Heumann

Following is a statement from Richard L. Schilsky, MD, president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), on the “21st Century Access to Life-saving Early Detection, Research and Treatment (ALERT) Act,” introduced Thursday by Senators Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX):

“The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) commends the significant work that Senators Edward Kennedy and Kay Bailey Hutchison have devoted to promoting the interests of individuals with cancer through prevention, research and treatment. This legislation lays important groundwork to strengthen America’s cancer research enterprise."

“ASCO applauds the senators’ efforts to improve access to cancer clinical trials, including efforts to expand coverage to patients participating in clinical trials, as well as efforts to develop a national biorepository network for collecting tissue samples that will advance cancer research efforts. Access to biospecimens will help ensure the successful transition to personalized medicine."

“Now is the time to renew our fight against cancer. Cancer deaths are decreasing, and the survival rates for many cancers are rising. But only renewed national commitment and investment will enable this country to deliver on President Obama’s challenge to cure cancer."

“While defeating cancer will require research to develop better treatments, it also will require making effective therapies accessible and affordable to those in need. ASCO appreciates the leadership and dedication of Senators Kennedy and Hutchison in providing this unprecedented opportunity for the cancer community to collaborate on this legislative effort."

“ASCO looks forward to continuing to work with Senators Kennedy and Hutchison, other members of Congress, and the Administration to refine and advance this legislation that will benefit millions of Americans fighting cancer today and many more in the future.”

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is the world’s leading professional organization representing physicians who care for people with cancer. With more than 27,000 members, ASCO is committed to improving cancer care through scientific meetings, educational programs and peer-reviewed journals. For ASCO information and resources, visit Patient-oriented cancer information is available at