On March 22, 2018, the Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access and Research (STAR) Act was passed by unanimous vote in the Senate, followed by a voice vote in the House on May 22. The bill was signed into law on June 5. After three years of effort, the Childhood Cancer STAR Act is now the most comprehensive childhood cancer legislation on the books.
This bill has four important tenants, all depending on one another: Survivorship, Treatment, Accessibility of Care, and Research. Through research we can provide better treatment for our children; through access we can see that all children who need it benefit from those treatments; through better treatments, we can see more and more children becoming Survivors; and those Survivors will all have a chance to thrive with the help of new resources.
The Childhood Cancer STAR Act designates an annual $30 million to achieve its goals. Those goals align with our mission here at Press On: to advance pediatric cancer and surveillance, develop less toxic treatments, and enhance survivor resources. In addition, at least one pediatric oncologist must serve on the National Cancer Advisory Board– finally giving a voice to children with cancer during funding decisions. Thank you to our legislators for providing new hope to children facing cancer!