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Power. Progress. Prevention. July 20, 2018

July 20, 2018

July 20, 2018

New Labor-HHS Appropriations bill amendment safeguards cervical cancer screening standards-of-care

In a recent House appropriations committee hearing, Rep. David Young (R-IA) successfully sponsored language in an amendment to the House appropriations bill for fiscal year 2019. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) also expressed her strong support of the measure in her opening remarks in the hearing.  If passed, the amendment will protect current cervical cancer screening co-testing practices through 2022.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released new draft recommendations for cervical cancer screenings in 2017. Unlike the USPSTF’s 2012 recommendations, the new draft recommendations do not include a recommendation for co-testing (a Pap test combined with an HPV test) every five years for women ages 30-65. This means insurers could deny coverage for co-testing, as they rely on recommendations from USPSTF to make coverage determinations.

Routine cervical cancer screening co-testing has been proven to identify more cases of cancer than either the HPV test or Pap test alone. Thanks to the efforts by Rep. David Young and Rep. Rosa DeLauro, among others, the language included in the Labor-HHS Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2019 could protect coverage for cervical cancer co-testing for women ages 30-65.

Screening saves lives, and it is critical that we protect access to comprehensive cervical cancer screening. For more information on cervical cancer prevention and early detection, visit our cervical cancer page.

New step toward identifying link between firefighting and cancer

President Trump recently signed the bipartisan Firefighter Cancer Registry Act of 2018, sponsored by Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY). The bill requires the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) track cancer incidence in firefighters through a voluntary registry. Supporters of the bill hope the registry will help the CDC to gather information to guide future research  identifying cancer risk for firefighters.

Firefighters face many risks in their line of work, but according to the International Association of Firefighters, cancer is the number one cause of death of firefighters. The Prevent Cancer Foundation® supports the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act of 2018 because firefighters should not have to face the added risk of cancer.

Learn more about the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act of 2018.

Recent advances in cancer immunotherapy

Scientists have identified a new mechanism for immunotherapy that doesn’t rely on using viral vectors as carriers. The new method would involve the use of CRISPR, a gene-editing enzyme capable of slicing DNA.

Immunotherapy is a revolutionary cancer treatment innovation, as it boosts the body’s ability to fight off the disease on its own, targeting the immune system specifically rather than all fast-growing cells. Current immunotherapy mechanisms generally rely on using inactive viruses, also known as viral vectors, as host cells to deliver cancer treatment. The process of immunotherapy through inactive viruses can be lengthy, often taking many months. Researchers believe that CRISPR technology could vastly shorten the length of therapy, since doctors would no longer have to engineer viral vectors for immunotherapy.

Experts are hopeful this new innovative use of CRISPR could be used to treat a wide array of cancers, as well as HIV and other autoimmune disorders. Researchers are already using CRISPR to edit genes in children with genetic mutations, but more research needs to be conducted on the safety and potential side effects of using CRISPR to edit DNA.

Prevent Cancer Foundation® speaks out on flavored tobacco

The Foundation this week submitted comments to Dr. Scott Gottlieb, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding the role of flavored tobacco. The comments were in support of proposed rule FDA-2017-N-6565-0001.

This rule seeks to review the role of flavored tobacco and its impact on smoking behaviors, and is a move in the right direction for addressing addiction. In a letter to the FDA, the Foundation encouraged the agency to consider the evidence that flavors in tobacco encourage tobacco use and targets children, adolescents and African-Americans. We support the FDA in continuing its research and oversight of flavored tobacco.

Read our full comment letter.

 

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