Each year, the Congressional Childhood Cancer Caucus hosts a summit to raise awareness about pediatric cancer and reflect on the progress made each year, this includes live-saving new research and treatments.
Sadly, childhood cancer is the leading cause of death for children behind car wrecks and each year in the U.S., nearly 16 thousand children are diagnosed with cancer. That is why Congressman Michael McCaul stood up the caucus to ensure these children and their families were represented in Congress.
The Childhood Cancer Caucus, which includes Representatives Michael McCaul (TX-10, G.K. Butterfield (NC-01), Jackie Speier (CA-14), and Mike Kelly (PA-16), has led the charge in Congress by passing legislation to help the children and families affected by pediatric cancer.
Since its inception, the caucus has introduced several major pieces of legislation that provide better care, treatments and research for childhood cancer patients. Including the Creating Hope Reauthorization Act, which passed by voice vote in the House Tuesday, September 29. This life-saving piece of legislation that creates a market to get more pediatric cancer and rare disease drugs approved in the U.S. for pediatric cancer patients.
"The experience of losing my best friend to cancer in fourth grade had a tremendous impact on me. I guess that’s when I knew I wanted to make this a cause of mine and help other kids battling cancer. Jumping forward to when I was first elected to Congress. I had families from the 10th District approach me about childhood cancer. I made it my mission to find ways to save lives, through funding and new research and advocate for those children who didn’t have a voice in the halls of Congress.” - Congressman Michael McCaul
Childhood cancer is the number one cause of death by disease of children - more than asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, congenital anomalies, and pediatric AIDS combined.
40+ kids diagnosed in US per day, 15,000+ per year
Unlike adult cancer rates, which have been declining since 1990, childhood cancers rates are on the rise, increasing approximately 1% per year.
Caroline Pryce Conquer Childhood Cancer Act - 2006
The Caroline Pryce Conquer Childhood Cancer Act was the first of the caucus’s bills. Named in honor of former Representative Deborah Pryce’s daughter Caroline, who passed away from neuroblastoma at the age of nine, the bill passed the House and Senate unanimously and was signed into law in 2008. It authorized $150 million to enhance and expand pediatric cancer research, establish a national childhood cancer registry to collect data, and promote public awareness through grants to advocacy organizations.
Creating Hope Act - 2011
The second of our bills was titled the Creating Hope Act. By providing market incentives and priority review vouchers to pharmaceutical companies to develop new drugs for children with rare pediatric diseases, this bill expedited the development of childhood cancer drugs. In 2015, just one year after the first voucher was awarded, the FDA announced it had approved the drug Unituxin - only the third pediatric cancer drug approved in 20 years - for use in children with neuroblastoma.
RACE for Children Act - 2017
The RACE for Children Act further expanded treatment options for children with cancer by ensuring that all cancer drugs in the development pipeline become candidates for study in children’s cancers. This allowed the most innovative adult treatments for cancer to be studied for use in children, bringing us one step closer to eradicating childhood cancer.
STAR Act - 2018
The STAR Act is named for the four major concerns that face the pediatric cancer community: Survivorship, Treatment, Access, and Research. This bill, the most comprehensive childhood cancer bill Congress has ever taken up, helped to fund and prioritize the fight against childhood cancer at the National Institute of Health. The STAR Act helped give pediatric cancer patients and their families a stronger voice and more resources to combat this deadly disease.
Global Hope Act - 2019
The Global Hope Act allows the Secretary of State to facilitate partnerships that will help improve the care of childhood cancer patients in developing countries, where pediatric cancer patients have an 80% mortality rate. Through the Global Hope Act, the U.S. can help childhood cancer survival rates improve globally and bolster the health infrastructure in developing countries will progress.