“This legislation could be life-saving for our kids”
Washington, D.C. - Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today in the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee advocated to boost childhood cancer research by urging his colleagues to include the bipartisan RACE for Children Act in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Reauthorization bill.
The Research to Accelerate Cures and Equity (RACE) for Children Act, authored and introduced by Senators Bennet and Marco Rubio (R-FL), would support the development of innovative and promising cancer drugs for children.
"In Colorado and around the country, researchers are making dramatic advances to cure cancer, but there is even more we can do to ensure kids with cancer have a fighting chance to grow up and lead full lives," Bennet said. "This legislation could be life-saving for our kids. I want to be able to look at parents and tell them that breakthrough drugs for cancer are now available for their children. I look forward to continue working with my colleagues, in addition to parents, researchers, and other advocates, to advance this bill to expand treatment options for children."
In today's remarks, Bennet included the story of Delaney from Grand Junction, Colorado, who passed away last year, but whose family is still advocating for cures for pediatric cancer.
"[This bill] could have been life-saving for kids like Delaney from Grand Junction, who passed away a year ago when she was out of treatment options," Bennet said. "I wish she could be here with us today to advocate for this bill. Delaney once said she heard that ‘God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers.' Well Delaney, we are still here fighting to beat this disease. We have no intention of stopping."
Click HERE to watch Bennet's full remarks.
Last week, Bennet visited the pediatric cancer wing at University Hospital Cleveland, where he met with physicians and learned more about the work that needs to be done to fight childhood cancer.
Senator Rubio also commented on the legislation following today's HELP Committee markup.
"With new and promising advancements in medical research, researchers have the opportunity to do more to help children in their fight against cancer, but first we must update our laws to ensure they are fully leveraging the latest medical innovations and techniques to find better treatments and cures," Rubio said. "I appreciate the committee's inclusion of some key parts of our legislation, and I look forward to working with Senator Bennet and others to ensure all of our bill's provisions become law."
Background on the RACE for Children Act:
Bennet introduced the legislation earlier this year.
The RACE for Children Act, S. 456, first introduced in the 114th Congress, would update the Pediatric Research Equity Act (PREA) to reflect the latest advances in cancer drugs. PREA was enacted by Congress in 2003 to address the scarcity of information about how to treat children with drugs developed for adults. It sought to develop pediatric data during drug development. Although PREA has resulted in new information on how to treat children for a multitude of drugs over the years, there are still limited pediatric studies for cancer drugs. This bill would update PREA by reflecting a new and promising approach to cancer drug development using molecular targets.