The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) applauds Congress and the White House for the strong, bipartisan show of support for the 21st Century Cures Act (H.R. 34). Following the Senate’s passage  by a vote of 94 to 5, Congressional leaders signed the bill at this morning’s Enrollment Ceremony. The House had previously passed the game-changing medical innovation bill on November 30, by an overwhelming vote of 392 to 26. The bill now officially heads to the White House. President Barack Obama has said he would sign the measure “as soon as it reaches my desk.”

PCF commends House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) for their tireless leadership in support of accelerating the speed of medical research. The bill is the culmination of countless hours of patient survivors, medical research foundations, and Congressional champions working together to deliver on the promise of 21st century cures. PCF is honored to have led in this effort in partnership with hundreds of biomedical research and patient advocacy organizations. 

“This legislation will accelerate our goal of precision oncology for every man at any stage of prostate cancer and finishing off this disease as a cause of death and suffering for patients and their families” said Jonathan W. Simons, MD, president and CEO of the Prostate Cancer Foundation. “It provides critical funding fuel for the Cancer Moonshot and strengthens our ability to support young scientists moving forward new basic discoveries to life extending ways of caring for patients precisely.”

The Cures Act includes funding for the “Cancer Moonshot” led by Vice President Joe Biden. In a moving moment on the Senate floor, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called on the Senate to dedicate the bill’s critical cancer initiatives to honor the memory of Vice President Biden’s son, Beau Biden, who died of  brain cancer last year. The $1.8 billion provided for the Beau Biden “Cancer Moonshot” in the legislation will bolster the Moonshot’s goal of making a decade’s worth of advances in cancer prevent, diagnosis, and treatment, in five years. 

“We are now one step closer to ending cancer as we know it,” said President Obama in a statement issued by White House. “…The bipartisan passage of the 21st Century Cures Act is an example of the progress we can make when people from both parties work together to improve the health of our families, friends and neighbors.” 

The bill will take steps to invest in the discovery, development, and delivery of new treatments and and maintain America’s global status as the leader in biomedical innovation. Over the next 10 years, it will enact $4.8 billion of new funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including $1.8 billion in funding for the Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot. 

About the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) 

The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is the world’s leading philanthropic organization funding and accelerating prostate cancer research. Founded in 1993, PCF has raised more than $670 million and provided funding to more than 2,000 research programs at more than 200 cancer centers and universities. The PCF global research enterprise now extends to 19 countries. PCF advocates for greater awareness of prostate cancer and more efficient investment of governmental research funds for transformational cancer research. Its efforts have helped produce a 20-fold increase in government funding for prostate cancer.