APHON Endorses the RISE Act

March 15th, 2021

The Honorable Diana DeGette
United States House of Representatives
2111 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Fred Upton
United States House of Representatives
2183 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Ed Markey
United States Senate
255 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Thom Tillis
United States Senate
113 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Representative DeGette, Representative Upton, Senator Markey, and Senator Tillis:

The undersigned childhood cancer organizations are members of the Alliance for Childhood Cancer, consisting of patient advocacy groups, healthcare professionals and scientific organizations, representing millions of Americans who care deeply about childhood cancer. We are writing to offer our endorsement of H.R. 869/S. 289, the Research Investment to Spark the Economy (RISE) Act and we thank you for your support of federally-funded biomedical research.

Each year in the U.S. an estimated 15,780 children are diagnosed with cancer. Approximately 1 in 264 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with cancer before their 20th birthday. Annually there are more than 300,000 children diagnosed with cancer worldwide. Unfortunately, cancer remains the most common cause of death by disease for children in America. Though we have made significant advances to develop better treatments for some childhood cancers, children with cancer rely on continued investments to conduct vital research to find treatments and cures.

The RISE Act provides $25 billion, including $10 billion for the National Institutes of Health, in needed relief to support independent research institutions, public laboratories, and universities throughout the country as well as provide needed regulatory flexibility so they can continue their work. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused severe disruptions to federally-backed research, including pediatric cancer research. Due to federal guidelines adherence, many laboratories have been forced to minimize operations beyond “essential” work, delay research already underway, and postpone planned projects. These disturbances have created additional expenses for research institutions and supplemental funding is needed to offset these costs.

Clinical trials play a pivotal role in advancing pediatric cancer care and treatment. Because the effects of clinical trials and drug development can take years to realize, the disruptions on pediatric cancer research will be felt for years to come.

This bipartisan legislation will also ensure the nation’s research workforce, including graduate students, postdocs, principal investigators, and technical support staff, do not suffer from employment cuts. Currently, many institutions have had to furlough staff and freeze hiring due to funding issues caused by the pandemic. Children with cancer and their families cannot afford any cuts to this important cohort and we are encouraged to see Congress prioritize relief funding for our nation’s research workforce.

Thank you for your leadership on behalf of children with cancer. We look forward to working with you enact the RISE Act. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Sarah Milberg, Co-Chair of the Alliance for Childhood Cancer, at smilberg@allianceforchildhoodcancer.org.


The Alliance for Childhood Cancer
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Association for Cancer Research
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
American Childhood Cancer Organization
American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
Association for Clinical Oncology
Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses
Association of Pediatric Oncology Social Workers
The Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation
Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation
Children’s Cancer Cause
Children’s Oncology Group
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
The Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation
National Brain Tumor Society
Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation
Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research
St. Baldrick’s Foundation
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

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