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Prostate Cancer Act-PCF Encouraged by Introduction of New Prostate Cancer Legislation

bdhilton
bdhilton Member Posts: 795 **
edited March 2014 in Prostate Cancer #1
Washington, DC
September 15, 2010

As hundreds of prostate cancer researchers, advocates and supporters Advance on Washington this week and push for more progress in fighting the disease, the Prostate Cancer Foundation applauds the bipartisan prostate cancer legislation introduced on Tuesday by Senator Jon Tester of Montana.

More about the Prostate Cancer Act--- http://www.pcf.org/site/c.leJRIROrEpH/b.6238597/k.7575/PCF_Encouraged_by_Introduction_of_New_Prostate_Cancer_Legislation.htm?msource=se10pcaact&auid=7001682

Comments

  • Kongo
    Kongo Member Posts: 1,166
    S.3775
    While I think we can all applaud legislation that might advance the cause of prostate cancer research, I fear S.3775 as introduced by Senator Testor will not achieve that goal. For one thing, it is unlikely that this bill will ever pass before Congress recesses this year and since we all know mid-term elections are looming in a little over a month, when Congress goes into recess, it will cease to exist. The new Congress will have to reconstitute itself in January for a new two-year session and any pending legislation is essentially down the toilet.

    This bill is also an "authorization" bill, not an "appropriations" bill which means that no real money is associated with it. Without money, the bill, even if passed, isn't going to do anything for advancing prostate cancer research. At best, we will get a report in five years from DOD (Veterans Affairs) about what they have done in coordinating prostate cancer research activities across the inter-agency. Interestingly, this bill is focused on more cancer research for "underserved rural medical areas," whatever that means.

    Among other things the bill calls for:

    a) Program Establishment- The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall, in coordination with the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Health and Human Services, establish and carry out a program to coordinate and intensify prostate cancer research.

    (b) Program Activities- In carrying out the program required by subsection (a), the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall--

    (1) carry out research to develop advances in improved early detection, diagnostic, and prognostic methods and tests, including--

    (A) biomarkers and an improved prostate cancer screening blood test; and

    (B) improvements or alternatives to the prostate specific antigen test and additional tests to distinguish indolent from aggressive disease;

    (2) carry out research to better understand the etiology of prostate cancer to improve prevention efforts, including an analysis of--

    (A) susceptibility and lifestyle factors proven to be involved in higher rates of prostate cancer, such as obesity and diet; and

    (B) the role in which belonging to different ethnic, racial, geographic, and socioeconomic groups, such African-American, Latino, and American Indian populations, as well as those living in rural and highly rural areas, has on the incidence of prostate cancer and mortality from prostate cancer;

    (3) expand basic research into prostate cancer, including studies of fundamental molecular and cellular mechanisms;

    (4) identify and provide clinical testing of novel agents for the prevention and treatment of prostate cancer;

    (5) establish clinical registries for prostate cancer; and

    (6) utilize the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering and the National Cancer Institute for assessment of appropriate imaging services and technologies.

    While all of these are noble aspirations, without specific funding appropriated to accomplish these goals, there is no way that they will ever happen. As a Montana senator, I am sure John Testor is scoring points during prostate cancer awareness month in couching his bill toward "underserved medical rural areas" which will play well in Montana, but it's like---so what?

    In a previous life I worked for a U.S. senator on Capitol Hill and am very familiar with this type of legistlation. It makes for great press at home because the incumbent can say "I introduced legislation to ...." but it seldom translates to any meaningful benefit. That's just the nature of our government and politics in general.

    I personally agree with Senator Testor politically, but as a junior senator from Montana only two years into his first term, he has not yet achieved the stature or seniority to enable this bill a decent chance to pass or affect prostate cancer research. He is not a member of any committee that deals with the VA, DoD. HHS, or any agency which actually has a responsibility to to improve health care in the United States.

    Good idea and I applaud his efforts...just not thinking that his proposed legislation is going anywhere or will ever have any impact on prostate cancer research.
  • bdhilton
    bdhilton Member Posts: 795 **
    Kongo said:

    S.3775
    While I think we can all applaud legislation that might advance the cause of prostate cancer research, I fear S.3775 as introduced by Senator Testor will not achieve that goal. For one thing, it is unlikely that this bill will ever pass before Congress recesses this year and since we all know mid-term elections are looming in a little over a month, when Congress goes into recess, it will cease to exist. The new Congress will have to reconstitute itself in January for a new two-year session and any pending legislation is essentially down the toilet.

    This bill is also an "authorization" bill, not an "appropriations" bill which means that no real money is associated with it. Without money, the bill, even if passed, isn't going to do anything for advancing prostate cancer research. At best, we will get a report in five years from DOD (Veterans Affairs) about what they have done in coordinating prostate cancer research activities across the inter-agency. Interestingly, this bill is focused on more cancer research for "underserved rural medical areas," whatever that means.

    Among other things the bill calls for:

    a) Program Establishment- The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall, in coordination with the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Health and Human Services, establish and carry out a program to coordinate and intensify prostate cancer research.

    (b) Program Activities- In carrying out the program required by subsection (a), the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall--

    (1) carry out research to develop advances in improved early detection, diagnostic, and prognostic methods and tests, including--

    (A) biomarkers and an improved prostate cancer screening blood test; and

    (B) improvements or alternatives to the prostate specific antigen test and additional tests to distinguish indolent from aggressive disease;

    (2) carry out research to better understand the etiology of prostate cancer to improve prevention efforts, including an analysis of--

    (A) susceptibility and lifestyle factors proven to be involved in higher rates of prostate cancer, such as obesity and diet; and

    (B) the role in which belonging to different ethnic, racial, geographic, and socioeconomic groups, such African-American, Latino, and American Indian populations, as well as those living in rural and highly rural areas, has on the incidence of prostate cancer and mortality from prostate cancer;

    (3) expand basic research into prostate cancer, including studies of fundamental molecular and cellular mechanisms;

    (4) identify and provide clinical testing of novel agents for the prevention and treatment of prostate cancer;

    (5) establish clinical registries for prostate cancer; and

    (6) utilize the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering and the National Cancer Institute for assessment of appropriate imaging services and technologies.

    While all of these are noble aspirations, without specific funding appropriated to accomplish these goals, there is no way that they will ever happen. As a Montana senator, I am sure John Testor is scoring points during prostate cancer awareness month in couching his bill toward "underserved medical rural areas" which will play well in Montana, but it's like---so what?

    In a previous life I worked for a U.S. senator on Capitol Hill and am very familiar with this type of legistlation. It makes for great press at home because the incumbent can say "I introduced legislation to ...." but it seldom translates to any meaningful benefit. That's just the nature of our government and politics in general.

    I personally agree with Senator Testor politically, but as a junior senator from Montana only two years into his first term, he has not yet achieved the stature or seniority to enable this bill a decent chance to pass or affect prostate cancer research. He is not a member of any committee that deals with the VA, DoD. HHS, or any agency which actually has a responsibility to to improve health care in the United States.

    Good idea and I applaud his efforts...just not thinking that his proposed legislation is going anywhere or will ever have any impact on prostate cancer research.

    I cannot predict what will
    I cannot predict what will happen with regards to passage or not but I know that congress in Dec 2009 approved $80,000,000 for DOD research on prostate cancer for 2010…

    http://advancedprostatecancer.net/?p=1060
  • Swingshiftworker
    Swingshiftworker Member Posts: 1,013
    bdhilton said:

    I cannot predict what will
    I cannot predict what will happen with regards to passage or not but I know that congress in Dec 2009 approved $80,000,000 for DOD research on prostate cancer for 2010…

    http://advancedprostatecancer.net/?p=1060

    $80M to DOD for PCa Research?
    Why was DOD (via the VA)actually given $80M to "coordinate" PCa research effort at the federal level?

    That seems really odd to me, considering that the VA seems to be inept in providing basic medical services to veterans and certainly can't be expected to do any better in coordinating inter-agency efforts in Pca research.
  • Kongo
    Kongo Member Posts: 1,166

    $80M to DOD for PCa Research?
    Why was DOD (via the VA)actually given $80M to "coordinate" PCa research effort at the federal level?

    That seems really odd to me, considering that the VA seems to be inept in providing basic medical services to veterans and certainly can't be expected to do any better in coordinating inter-agency efforts in Pca research.

    Swing
    Hope your treatments are going well. Was wondering if your impression of the VA was based on personal experience? I've personally never had anything but positive experiences with military medicine, including the VA but I have heard stories.
  • Kongo
    Kongo Member Posts: 1,166

    $80M to DOD for PCa Research?
    Why was DOD (via the VA)actually given $80M to "coordinate" PCa research effort at the federal level?

    That seems really odd to me, considering that the VA seems to be inept in providing basic medical services to veterans and certainly can't be expected to do any better in coordinating inter-agency efforts in Pca research.

    Swing
    Hope your treatments are going well. Was wondering if your impression of the VA was based on personal experience? I've personally never had anything but positive experiences with military medicine, including the VA but I have heard stories.
  • bdhilton
    bdhilton Member Posts: 795 **

    $80M to DOD for PCa Research?
    Why was DOD (via the VA)actually given $80M to "coordinate" PCa research effort at the federal level?

    That seems really odd to me, considering that the VA seems to be inept in providing basic medical services to veterans and certainly can't be expected to do any better in coordinating inter-agency efforts in Pca research.

    I do not know. There are
    I do not know. There are seveal articles on the DOD doing this. As far as how the VA provides medical care I am clueless...
  • Swingshiftworker
    Swingshiftworker Member Posts: 1,013
    Kongo said:

    Swing
    Hope your treatments are going well. Was wondering if your impression of the VA was based on personal experience? I've personally never had anything but positive experiences with military medicine, including the VA but I have heard stories.

    No personal knowlege about VA
    Hey, Kongo:

    I have no personal knowledge about the VA. Just heard the same or other "stories" about how bad it is from the media, etc.

    But, even if the the stories are false and the VA provides superb medical services, it still strikes me as odd that they would be given $80M (let alone selected) to act as the coordinating federal agency for PCa research.

    What about NIH? I always thought the job of the National Institutes of Health was to conduct and/or monitor federal medical research efforts.

    Whatever . . .
  • Swingshiftworker
    Swingshiftworker Member Posts: 1,013
    Kongo said:

    Swing
    Hope your treatments are going well. Was wondering if your impression of the VA was based on personal experience? I've personally never had anything but positive experiences with military medicine, including the VA but I have heard stories.

    Update on CK Treatment
    Kongo:

    You will find a report on my 2nd CK treatment in the "Swing Shift - Wishing you the best" thread.