CLC Outlines Plan for Cancer Research and Care
(July 15, 2008)

July 15, 2008

The Honorable Arlen Specter
711 Hart Building
United States Senate
Washington, D.C.  20510

Dear Senator Specter:

The undersigned organizations, representing cancer survivors, researchers, and physicians, are writing to share our views about the resources and strategies that will be required to cure cancer.  We understand that you have asked a number of cancer organizations for advice about the resources necessary for the fight against cancer.  Although our coalition did not receive a direct inquiry, we write to share our opinions about the campaign to cure cancer.

Many of our individual organizations were founded with the specific mission of curing cancer, and we remain dedicated to that aim.  We are therefore buoyed by your focus on this ambitious goal.  However, we have increasingly found that the effort to cure cancer is a multi-faceted one that must include not only an aggressive basic, translational, and clinical research program but also must ensure that Americans have access to screening tests, early diagnostic tools, and the best cancer care available, including survivorship care.  An initiative to find a “cure” must combine the most outstanding research program possible with the most stellar system of care possible.

We recommend that a renewed and revived cancer program include the following elements:

We offer our recommendations for your consideration and as a complement to other advice you have been provided.  The comprehensive approach we recommend – combining a reinvigorated research program and access to cancer screening and care upon diagnosis – would require an aggressive fiscal commitment.  We believe that the cancer research program could be responsibly doubled in short order, and that a comparable commitment could be made to ensuring access to quality cancer care. 

We are mindful of the current budget situation and the odds against a rapid infusion of funds into cancer research and care.  However, a dedicated and sustained effort to cure cancer deserves no less commitment from the American people and their leaders.

Cancer Leadership Council

American Cancer Society Cancer Action
American Psychosocial Oncology Society
American Society for Therapeutic
     Radiology & Oncology
Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network
Breast Cancer Network of Strength
C3: Colorectal Cancer Coalition
Cancer Care
The Children's Cause for Cancer Advocacy
Coalition of Cancer Cooperative Groups
International Myeloma Foundation
Kidney Cancer Association
Lance Armstrong Foundation
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Lymphoma Research Foundation
National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship
National Lung Cancer Partnership
North American Brain Tumor Coalition
Ovarian Cancer National Alliance
Prevent Cancer Foundation
Sarcoma Foundation of America
Susan G. Komen for the Cure Advocacy
Us TOO International Prostate Cancer
     Education and Support Network
The Wellness Community

cc:        The Honorable Tom Harkin