Capito, Murkowski, McCaul, Kelly applaud congressional passage of bill to fight childhood cancer

The bipartisan, bicameral Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access, and Research (STAR) Act of 2022 — which will reauthorize expansion opportunities for childhood cancer research, improve efforts to identify and track childhood cancer incidences, and enhance the quality of life for childhood cancer survivors — is slated to become law.

S. 4120, introduced on April 28 by U.S. Sens. Jack Reed (D-RI), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) to reauthorize the Childhood Cancer STAR Act for another five years, on Dec. 20 received unanimous consent from the U.S. Senate and then on Dec. 22 passed the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill now heads to the president to be signed into law.

“The legislation has resulted in unprecedented opportunities and funding for childhood cancer research, allowed us to better understand and track the incidence of disease, and improved the quality of life for childhood cancer survivors,” Sen. Capito said. “I’m thrilled the Senate has passed this meaningful legislation, which will ultimately allow these opportunities to continue and bring us closer to a world without childhood cancer.”

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) on April 28 also introduced the identical H.R. 7630 with original cosponsors, including U.S. Reps. Jackie Speier (D-CA) and Mike Kelly (R-PA). He said that the STAR Act continues to bring the nation closer to ultimately eliminating childhood cancer.

“The most comprehensive childhood cancer bill ever signed into law, the STAR Act works to improve the lives of cancer patients and cancer survivors through increased research,” said Rep. McCaul on Dec. 22. “I’m thankful my colleagues voted to reauthorize it today and will continue raising my voice on behalf of these beautiful children until cancer is no longer a threat to their futures.”

Since becoming law in 2018, the measure has helped deliver more than $120 million to fund promising childhood cancer research and assist patients and families battling cancer, according to information provided by the lawmakers.

“I was incredibly proud to be part of the passage of the STAR Act in 2018, which has made an important difference in the lives of children with cancer, as well as childhood cancer survivors and their families,” said Sen. Capito. 

Sen. Murkowski pointed out that the bill takes a multifaceted approach to addressing childhood cancer by boosting research efforts and bolstering data collection. 

“Through this legislation, we have an opportunity to help improve the quality of life for all the brave children who’ve survived cancer — and hope that future generations don’t experience this terrible disease at all,” said Sen. Murkowski. “Our bipartisan bill is comprehensive, focusing on supporting survivors and finding treatments. I’m proud to be part of this effort to end childhood cancer.”

Rep. Kelly agreed and noted the STAR Act’s “immense value” since first becoming law.

“Children are 25 percent of our population, but they are 100 percent of our future,” Rep. Kelly said. “It’s our duty to fund the research that will protect them in their most vulnerable moments and to ultimately find a cure. 

“I’m grateful that Congress is prioritizing this research and will reauthorize the STAR Act,” he added.