October 16, 2001
Leading Breast Cancer Experts Address Congressional Leaders
About Narrowing Bench-to-Bedside Gap
Leaders in Fight Against Breast Cancer Seek Ways to Deliver Promising New
Treatments to Patients More Quickly
- The House Cancer Caucus, in conjunction with the Susan G. Komen
Breast Cancer Foundation today will host a congressional briefing on the
disparity in breast cancer patient care -- Delivering Promises to Patients:
Bridging the Bench-to-Bedside Gap. The briefing will address the
difficulties in translating the latest scientific research advances into
tangible improvements in primary medical care. In addition, the Caucus will
discuss possible solutions to eliminating this disparity and what
government's role might be in the process.
"Thanks to innovative research, breast cancer knowledge is at an all-time
high," said Susan Braun, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Susan
G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and moderator of today's briefing.
"However, while our knowledge base is rapidly increasing, the gap between
what the scientific community knows and the treatment options available to
patients is widening. The Komen Foundation is committed to closing this gap.
Today's briefing will shed new light on improving quality of care for breast
Diane Balma, J.D., a breast cancer survivor and Senior Counsel and Director
of Public Policy for the Komen Foundation, will deliver opening remarks at
the briefing, which will be held from noon until 1:30 p.m. in the U.S. House
of Representatives' Rayburn building. Speakers will include:
* Victoria Seewaldt, M.D., Assistant Professor of Medical Oncology, Duke
* Eric Berger, Vice President, Planning and Public Policy, U.S. Oncology
* Kathy LaTour, breast cancer survivor; Author, The Breast Cancer
Companion; and Senior Lecturer, Southern Methodist University
"We commend the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation for leading the
effort in studying quality of care for breast cancer in the United States
and are dedicated to working collaboratively toward closing the
bench-to-bedside gap," said U.S. Rep. Ken Bentsen, (D-TX), Co-Chairman of
the House Cancer Caucus.
The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation is a leader in the effort to
assure quality of care for breast cancer patients in the United States. Last
year, the Foundation pledged $1 million toward a pioneering American Society
of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) study, which seeks to develop a national
monitoring system for cancer care. The study is assessing the feasibility of
a national cancer care monitoring system by examining the quality of care
received by a sample group of adult breast and colorectal cancer patients.
"Today's House Cancer Caucus briefing is an opportunity for the Foundation
to share its objectives regarding quality of care with Congressional leaders
and to ask for their support in addressing these critical issues in the
fight against breast cancer," Braun said.
Specific issues that will be addressed include: maintaining key research
funding levels; working to measure the disincentives that block rapid
dissemination of proven innovations; expanding specialist education
opportunities; reducing the paperwork burden and streamlining the processes
for providing reimbursement codes for new technology; and creating expanded
access mechanisms that will ensure that the newer targeted biological
innovations are available quickly to patients for whom other treatment
options have been exhausted.
The Komen Foundation has initiated and supported numerous advocacy and
public policy initiatives to increase awareness and funding for: innovative
and cutting-edge research in the areas of diagnosis, treatment and long-term
care; patient rights and privacy issues; clinical trial funding and
enrollment; survivorship programs; and grassroots advocacy training to
address and advance local concerns.
The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation was established in 1982 by Nancy
Brinker to honor the memory of her sister, Susan G. Komen, who died of
breast cancer at the age of 36. Since its inception in 1982 through fiscal
year 1999, the Komen Foundation and its Affiliate Network have raised more
than $300 million to support breast cancer research, education, screening
and treatment programs. The Foundation has more than 70,000 volunteers
working through a network of U.S. and international Affiliates and Komen
Race for the Cure(R) events to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening
disease. The Komen Foundation has a National Toll-Free Breast Care Helpline
that is answered by trained caring volunteers whose lives have been
personally touched by breast cancer. For response to questions, local
resources, or moral support call 1.800 I'M AWARE(R) (1.800.462.9273). For
the latest breast health information and Komen Foundation news and
activities, visit the Foundation's award-winning Website at: http://www.komen.org/.