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Reps. Brian Higgins, Peter King, Derek Kilmer and Brian Fitzpatrick to Serve as Co-Chairs of House of Representatives Cancer Caucus

Feb 4, 2019
Press Release
Bipartisan Leaders Commit to Collaboration on the Fight Against Cancer in the 116th Congress

The nation’s fight against cancer has champions on the House of Representatives Cancer Caucus.  Leading the Caucus in the new Congress are Co-Chairs Congressmembers Brian Higgins (D-NY-26), Peter King (R-NY-3), Derek Kilmer (D-WA-6), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-1).

Congressman Brian Higgins is a member of the House Budget Committee and the Committee on Ways & Means including its subcommittee on Health.  His district includes Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of 49 National Cancer Institute (NCI) designated comprehensive cancer centers in the country.  Higgins is an advocate for a substantial increase in the nation’s commitment to biomedical research, a founding member and co-chair of the National Institutes of Health Caucus, a member of the Childhood Cancer Caucus and an original sponsor of the Cancer Drug Parity Act.

“The greatest optimism for people afflicted with cancer and those who love them, comes in knowing that the research of yesterday provides the promise of better outcomes today, and the discoveries taking place in research labs across the country today provide new hope for tomorrow,” said Congressman Higgins.  “Through collaboration Congress can speed the pace and opportunity for breakthrough research and demonstrate that beating cancer is not just a mission for individuals diagnosed but a priority for the entire nation.”

Congressman Peter King said, “As a co-chair of the Cancer Caucus, I will continue to advocate for increased investment in cancer research. I am proud to work with my colleagues on both sides to support increased funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), home of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The NCI coordinates the National Cancer Program (NCP) to conduct and support research, training, health information dissemination and other programs with respect to the cause, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of cancer. It is essential we continue to fight hard and provide researchers with the necessary resources.”

“Every American has been touched in a personal way by cancer—whether it’s as a survivor themselves or seeing it impact a family member or friend. That can change.  With the right federal investments in the National Institutes of Health and cancer research now, we can cure cancer within our lifetimes,” Kilmer said. “I want America to lead the way on a cure. That’s why I’m proud to co-chair the House’s Cancer caucus, and it’s why I’m going to fight hard for funding and research that has the potential to save lives.”

“The Cancer Caucus is a leading voice on cancer research and funding in Congress,” said Fitzpatrick. “Cancer is indiscriminate, afflicting millions of Americans each year from all walks of life. I am honored to serve as Co-Chair of this bipartisan Caucus, and will continue to advocate for cancer patients and their families in Bucks and Montgomery counties.”

The National Cancer Institute (NCI), the largest funder of cancer research in the world, was established by Congress through the National Cancer Act of 1937.  According to the NCI, in the United States alone, in 2018 there were more than 15.5 million cancer survivors, an estimated 1.7 million new cancer cases, and more than 609,000 deaths due to cancer.  Cancer care costs the United States more than $157 billion annually.