Jan 6, 2021 10:14PM Lumpie wrote:
Update: The Henrietta Lacks Enhancing Cancer Research Act Signed Into Law
We are excited to share that the Henrietta Lacks Enhancing Cancer Research Act was signed into law yesterday, January 5, 2021! This vital bill will increase access to cancer clinical trial participation among communities that are traditionally underrepresented in trials in order to decrease health disparities.
The bill is named after Henrietta Lacks, who died of cervical cancer in 1951. During her cancer treatment, doctors took samples of her tumor, and from this the HeLa cell line was created. Without her or her family's knowledge, these HeLa cells were used in modern medical research to develop treatments for a variety of diseases, including cancer.
Clinical trials provide individuals with cancer the opportunity to participate in ground-breaking research that may bring about treatments that improve quality of life, extend survival, and even prove life-saving. However, only a small fraction ultimately end up enrolling in a cancer clinical trial due to barriers that make participating difficult or even impossible, including:
- Lack of available trials at local sites
- Restrictive eligibility criteria
- Transportation to trial sites
- Taking time off from work
- Potentially increased medical and non-medical costs
The Henrietta Lacks Enhancing Cancer Research Act aims to reduce these barriers and make it easier for patients from diverse backgrounds to enroll in clinical trials by directing the federal government to study and publish a report regarding barriers to participation in federally funded cancer clinical trials by populations that have been traditionally underrepresented in such trials.
This update courtesy of Cancer Policy Institute at the Cancer Support Community