Latta-backed Childhood Cancer STAR Act Approved by U.S. House of Representatives
Legislation that Congressman Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green) has co-sponsored, the Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access, and Research (STAR) Act, was approved by the House of Representatives last evening. As it has already passed the Senate, it now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law. The Childhood Cancer STAR Act is the most comprehensive childhood cancer legislation ever approved by Congress.
Congressman Latta has previously worked to provide resources for pediatric cancer research and eradication efforts, including authoring provisions that secured funding under the Caroline Pryce Walker Conquer Childhood Cancer Act. The issue has been a focus in Northwest Ohio due to the Clyde Cancer Cluster, which came to light in 2002. A significant number children and young adults in eastern Sandusky County were diagnosed with cancer without any known cause.
“We’ve seen the devastating effect that childhood cancer can have on families and communities in places like Clyde, Ohio, where nearly 40 cases were diagnosed over 15 years with no specific cause,” said Latta. “I’ve worked to secure resources for pediatric cancer research previously, but it’s also important we take a look at the larger picture for the survivors of childhood cancer as well. Many pediatric survivors begin to experience other health issues at an earlier age, and there still is much we don’t know about how surviving childhood cancer will affect their health later on in life. The Childhood Cancer STAR Act will provide survivors with needed resources while improving the way we track the effects of this devastating disease.”
By 2020, the number of survivors of childhood and adolescent cancer in the United States is expected to exceed 500,000. The Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access, and Research Act advances pediatric cancer research and child-focused cancer treatments. It also improves the surveillance of childhood cancer to identify and track incidences of child, adolescent, and young adult cancer. This information can be helpful in developing research on the recurrence of cancer cases for child cancer survivors and determining the best strategies to prevent the return of the disease.
The legislation also establishes a new pilot program to test innovative models of care for childhood survivors. More than two-thirds of survivors suffer from late effects of cancer or cancer treatment. The Childhood Cancer STAR Act would also improve research on the late effects of childhood cancers.