President Barack Obama signs the 21st Century Cures Act into law.

President Barack Obama signs the 21st Century Cures Act into law.

The National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS) applauds Congress passing and President Obama signing the 21st Century Cures Act. Cancer survivors and others dealing with serious illness are encouraged to see Congress and the President end 2016 on a positive note by providing a boost in funding for important biomedical research priorities.

NCCS participated in the working groups that advised Vice President Biden and key federal agencies on the Cancer Moonshot initiative.

“As a voice for survivors advocating to improve care, we felt strongly that, in addition to accelerating advances in treatment, the Moonshot should also promote research to better manage symptoms, both during and after treatment. We need to develop treatments with fewer and less severe long-term effects,” said NCCS CEO Shelley Fuld Nasso.

NCCS is pleased that such a recommendation was included in the Blue Ribbon Panel’s report, and hopes that the Moonshot will continue to foster collaboration in all parts of the research and cancer care enterprise and accelerate progress against cancer.  NCCS is encouraged that the 21st Century Cures Act provides significant support for the Moonshot and urges Congress to ensure the funds are appropriated.

Although enactment of the 21st Century Cures Act is positive news for Americans, the work of cancer advocates and other dedicated advocates is far from over. The advocacy community must remain vigilant to ensure that the funding increases for the Moonshot and other research efforts are realized in future years, and to guarantee that changes in FDA review processes are implemented in a way that still protects patients and their access to innovative medicines that are safe and effective.