House Passes Biden’s Bill to Further Fund Cancer Research

Courtesy of Creative Commons

By Elizabeth Northey 12/4/16

Congress has passed the “21st Century Cures Act” allocating $1.8 billion of funding towards cancer research. The bill passed with bipartisan support on a vote of 392-26.
This bill is part of Vice President Joe Biden’s initiative to make America the country that cures cancer. Biden stated that the reason why we have yet to advance to find a cure is not due to the lack of innovation and knowledge of the top researchers, it’s the “stuff that gets in the way.” Biden hopes to create a clearer path for researchers to follow.
Many new kinds of cancer research have already shown promise such as teaching immune systems to fight cancer cells, smart bomb drugs that target cancer cells, and DNA sequencing.
Biden has made cancer research his main initiative and has visited research centers around the nation. The Vice President plans on putting his whole efforts into funding cancer research after he leaves office in January.
Some cancer experts are less optimistic about this proposal and are concerned with the bill’s rhetoric. Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong stated that instead of using the term “cure” it should be referred to as “ability to put the patient in remission with a high quality of life” – at least until research is closer to finding a conclusive cure.