Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Word from our Senator

I got the following response from Senator Lieberman regarding the National Childhood Brain Tumor Prevention Network Act. If you haven't contacted your representatives yet, there are links of to the right.

Dear Mr. Icatar:

Thank you for contacting me regarding your support for the National Childhood Brain Tumor Prevention Network Act (S. 305), which was introduced by Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and David Vitter (R-LA). Companion legislation (H.R. 653) was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA). I support legislative efforts to promote biomedical research so that people can benefit from new treatments, and maybe even cures, for diseases.

As you may know, S. 305 would require the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to establish a National Childhood Brain Tumor Prevention Network. This new network would be tasked with conducting and coordinating research, providing grants, and issuing guidance and recommendations from a panel of research experts with the ultimate goal of preventing and curing pediatric brain cancers.

I understand that very little is known about the causes of brain tumors in children and that the few risk factors that have been identified explain only a small fraction of all such cases. However, this disease clearly inflicts painful heartache on families and cuts short the lives of far too many children who suffer from brain tumors. According to NCI, brain tumors are the third most common type of childhood cancer, after leukemia and lymphoma. Tragically, however, unlike leukemia and lymphoma, childhood brain tumors do not have the same favorable prognosis. Each year, approximately 2,200 children and adolescents are diagnosed with malignant central nervous system disorders, over 90 percent of which are located within the brain. Sadly, children diagnosed with malignant brain tumors have only a 60-percent survival rate; and those who do survive have long-term health problems due to the invasiveness of brain tumors and their treatment.

I recognize that childhood brain tumors present a unique challenge for doctors and researchers since treatment options for children differ from treatment of brain tumors affecting adults. Despite the differences between brain cancers and other childhood cancers, as well as the differences better adult brain cancer and childhood brain cancer, NCI does not have a separate division dedicated to studying childhood brain tumors. The new National Childhood Brain Tumor Prevention Network set forth in S. 305 would help fill this gap in research and treatment, providing a much-needed resource for experts and doctors, as well as grant funding for research programs.

S. 305 is currently pending consideration by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. To keep track of future actions on this legislation, you can go to the "Bill Tracking" service at Please be assured that I will continue to keep in mind your support for critical efforts to combat brain tumors in children. We must do all we can to provide NCI with the resources necessary to study and fight this terrible disease and provide new hope for all children to grow up and lead active, happy, and healthy lives.

Thank you again for sharing your views and concerns with me. I hope you will continue to visit my website at for updated news about my work on behalf of Connecticut and the nation. Please contact me if you have any additional questions or comments about our work in Congress.


Joseph I. Lieberman

1 comment:

  1. I made a point to call Sen. Bernie Sanders' office as well as Rep. Peter Welch's regarding S.305 and HR.653 today. Bernie is on the Senate committee that is reviewing the bill.


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