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Second Opinion

Learn about policy issues important to medical schools and teaching hospitals, with Executive Vice President Atul Grover, M.D., Ph.D.

Washington Highlights

Final Defense Bill Includes Recalcitrant Cancer Research Proposal

December 21, 2012—Congress approved the conference agreement for the FY 2013 defense authorization bill (H.R. 4310, H. Rept. 112-705), which includes a requirement that the director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) develop a scientific framework for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of recalcitrant cancers, such as pancreatic cancer.  The House passed the conference agreement Dec. 20; at press time, the Senate was expected to approved it the following day.

The text of Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act (S. 3566) was added to the defense bill as an amendment during Senate consideration at the end of November [see Washington Highlights, Dec. 7].   The provision requires the director of NCI to develop a scientific framework for the conduct and support of research on each recalcitrant cancer. The NCI director is required within six months of enactment to identify two or more recalcitrant cancers that has a 5-year relative survival rate of less than 20 percent and is estimated to cause at least 30,000 deaths in the United States each year.

Each framework is to include a review of the current literature and a summary of relevant emerging scientific areas and promising scientific advances; the availability of qualified researchers; initiatives and partnerships for the coordination of NCI research with other entities; public and private resources such as patient registries and tissue banks to facilitate research; research questions relating to basic, translational, and clinical science; and recommendations to advance research and address the research questions identified.  The bill mandates the NCI director to consider each relevant scientific framework “when making recommendations for exception funding for grant applications.”

The bill requires the NCI director to convene a working group comprised of representatives of appropriate federal agencies and other non-federal entities to assist in developing each scientific framework.  Each scientific framework is to be developed within 18 months of enactment, with a review and update within 5 years of the initial framework.

Contact:

Dave Moore
Senior Director, Government Relations
Telephone: 202-828-0559
Email: dbmoore@aamc.org

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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.


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Jason Kleinman
Sr. Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806
Email: jkleinman@aamc.org