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April 2009 Newsletter- Obama/ Specter

April 2009 Newsletter- Obama/ Specter

Friends of Cancer Research Newsletter

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President Obama Reiterates His Commitment to Science and Cancer Research in Speech to the National Academy of Sciences


President Obama promised a “new era of science and technology for the nation”, addressing the National Academy of Sciences yesterday and vowed to commit significant funds to research and development.
During his speech he reiterated his commitment to cancer research saying:
“History also teaches us the greatest advances in medicine have come from scientific breakthroughs, whether the discovery of antibiotics, or improved public health practices, vaccines for smallpox and polio and many other infectious diseases, antiretroviral drugs that can return AIDS patients to productive lives, pills that can control certain types of blood cancers, so many others.”
“Because of recent progress — not just in biology, genetics and medicine, but also in physics, chemistry, computer science, and engineering — we have the potential to make enormous progress against diseases in the coming decades. And that’s why my administration is committed to increasing funding for the National Institutes of Health, including $6 billion to support cancer research — part of a sustained, multi-year plan to double cancer research in our country.”

Senator Specter Introduces New Legislation to Bridge Discovery and Treatment, Increase NIH Baseline
On April 27, 2009 Senator Arlen Specter introduced legislation that seeks to bridge the gap between a basic scientific discovery and a new health treatment. The Cures Acceleration Network (CAN) Act would create an independent agency dedicated to advancing science from the laboratory into practice.
The CAN Act would address the barriers in translational research by accomplishing two things:
1) Establishing an independent agency known as the Cures Acceleration Network (CAN) to fund promising discoveries, and
2) Reauthorizing the National Institute of Health (NIH) at a funding level of $40 billion in fiscal year 2010.
Senator Specter’s statement said that:
Many biomedical discoveries with the potential for development never advance beyond publication in a scientific journal due to a lack of resources or insurmountable red tape. The issue is so prevalent that researches have coined the term “the valley of death” to describe why promising discoveries, such as genes linked to cancer and Parkinson’s disease, languish in the laboratory. The CAN Act seeks to release this untapped scientific knowledge with great potential for health and economic benefits.