The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Calls on Congress to Halt Cuts to Cancer Research and Patient Access to Therapeutics at Critical Juncture

Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:20pm EST

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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
914-821-8958
andrea.greif@lls.org

SOURCE  The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

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