WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Feb. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- With the threat of massive budget cuts looming under the co-called "sequestration," The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) today called upon Congress to reject any proposals that would impede the remarkable progress that is allowing researchers and health professionals to understand, detect and treat cancer.
In a letter submitted to the leaders of both houses of Congress, LLS expressed its deep concern that the proposed reductions in non-defense discretionary funding will severely impact ongoing cancer research and development efforts. In particular, LLS is concerned that cuts to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will be particularly harmful to our nation's cancer patients.
LLS's Chief Mission Officer Louis J. DeGennaro said that continuing a steady flow of resources to support cancer research and the development of innovative therapies - as well as access to those therapies - is essential, as we are on the threshold bringing new and more effective treatments to patients.
"The threat of these massive cuts comes at a time when advances in blood cancer research are on the brink of historic breakthroughs," Dr. DeGennaro said. "An explosion of innovative science, and the clinical successes of a new wave of targeted therapies and immunotherapies are transforming the landscape of blood cancer. Survival rates for some blood cancer patients have doubled, tripled, and even quadrupled, yet critical unmet needs remain. LLS will continue to drive progress- from basic and translational research, to clinical trials, to patient advocacy - until we accomplish our goal of a world without blood cancers. Resources in Washington – at HHS and FDA – are essential to 'finish the job' and bring meaningful access of these breakthroughs to patients."
LLS President and CEO John Walter said, "LLS exists to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. As there are no means of preventing or early screening for most blood cancers, LLS is focused on finding cures. LLS has invested more than $875 million in research since our inception, and LLS funding has touched the discovery or development of nearly every treatment advance for patients with blood cancers. LLS strongly urges our leaders in Washington to provide critical funding for the ultimate realization of our goal: a world without blood cancers."
About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society ® (LLS) is the world's largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world and provides free information and support services.
Founded in 1949 and headquartered in White Plains, NY, LLS has chapters throughout the United States and Canada. To learn more, visit www.LLS.org or contact the Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET. www.lls.org.
Follow LLS's Office of Public Policy on www.twitter.com/LLSadvocacy.
Contact: Andrea Greif
SOURCE The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society