By Chris Pirschel, Staff Writer, and Alec Stone, ONS Public Affairs Director

Childhood Cancer Act Signed Into Law

It’s been a long time coming, but the Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access and Research (STAR) Act was finally signed into law on June 6 by President Trump. The act focuses on advancing pediatric cancer research and treatments along with improving screening programs and supporting patients into survivorship. As with many issues in the U.S. capital, the issue had two sides: many healthcare professionals see it as a win to support childhood cancer survivors, but it raised concerns for others about potential coverage issues.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is tasked with implementing the law. However, continued advocacy for the childhood cancer community will help ensure nothing gets missed or falls through the cracks during that process. ONS was a coalition sponsor for the legislation and continues to fight for coverage. It’s another victory and an important reminder that successes take time and effort to complete—even the ones that everyone agrees on.

NCI-Funded Study Finds That Many Patients With Breast Cancer Can Skip Chemo

Breakthroughs, treatments, and potential cures are being discovered at staggeringly fast rate. According to a new study presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting, women with the most common form of early-stage breast cancer can safely forgo chemotherapy. The study was funded through the National Cancer Institutes and is expected to spare more than 70,000 patients from unnecessary chemotherapy. The results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Despite incredible breakthroughs, patients with cancer still need crucial support and quality care. The federal government is in an annual position to offer important dollars to research, cancer support, and treatment programs. Federal investments into biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are holding steady, thanks to the work of advocates like ONS members—oncology nurses from around the country—reinforcing the message that NIH funding is making a real difference. Join your voice to the advocacy effort today.

Plan to Lower Drug Prices Could Increase Costs for Some Patients

In a White House Rose Garden speech, the president announced his administration’s plan to lower drug costs. It’s been a long-touted campaign promise, and it’s an issue that many voters hoped a candidate with business and negotiating experience could tackle. The Trump administration’s “Blueprint to Lower Drug Costs” is the first tangible step in fulfilling the president’s campaign promises. However, lowering the cost of prescriptions drugs is a complex issue that’s plagued patients for years.

According to expert estimates, the president’s blueprint plan could potentially raise costs for patients already in need of financial support for their medications. The verdict is still out on the administration’s prescription medication measures, but ONS will continue to be a voice for affordable, accessible care for patients with cancer.