In The News

Sep 30, 2014

Austinites leading the charge to improve access to experimental drugs

Austinites leading the charge to improve access to experimental drugs Friends say Andrea Sloan would have loved to attend a summit this weekend in Washington, D.C., that will focus on research for childhood cancer and expanded access to experimental drugs for all cancer patients. Sloan, 45, passed away earlier this year after a fight to gain access to an experimental drug to treat her ovarian cancer through a process called compassionate use. She was eventually granted access to a different drug made by a different company, but by then, her cancer had progressed too far. Now, her...

Jun 24, 2014

The Hill: Advocates want $5B for childhood cancer fight

Advocates for those with childhood cancers will tell lawmakers Tuesday that more funding is badly needed to help research and treat the diseases. Members of the Alliance for Childhood Cancer are calling on congressional leaders to pass the Caroline Pryce Walker Conquer Childhood Cancer Reauthorization Act and increase funding to the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Sep 20, 2013

YNN: Congress hosts childhood cancer caucus

Pediatricians and child health advocates joined members of Congress Thursday for the Fourth Annual Congressional Childhood Cancer Caucus. Doctors say they're making progress in treating pediatric diseases and developing new drugs. The research has been made possible under the Creating Hope Act, co-sponsored by Austin Area Representative Michael McCaul. Budget battles in Washington have made some worry whether funding for pediatric cancer research could be cut. But McCaul says it shouldn't be affected. "Sequestration does provide a challenge for us, but we believe...

Sep 21, 2012

Houston Chronicle: Michael McCaul, Brianna Commerford ‘create hope’ for pediatric cancer patients

Usually, when Brianna Commerford misses school, her mom has to write a note to her principal that says ‘doctor’s appointment’ or ‘sick.’ This one said ‘speaking on Capitol Hill.’ “When I was nine years old, I was diagnosed with stage four Hodgkins’ Lymphoma,” the 14-year-old told the third annual Childhood Cancer Summit Thursday. When Commerford was diagnosed in 2007, she was taken out of school for a year of chemotherapy treatments. Instead of participating in cheerleading or soccer, she had nine surgeries, as well as blood fusions, infusions, and transfusions. “It wasn’t the cancer...

Jul 9, 2012

ABC News: Law Offers Drug Companies Vouchers in Exchange for New Cancer Drugs for Kids

President Obama signed a bill today that will provide incentives to drug companies to research and develop drugs for rare diseases. The Creating Hope Act grants pharmaceutical companies that create drugs for diseases like childhood cancers a voucher giving speedier review of any other drug they submit for approval. The Oval Office signature was a hard-fought victory for children like Mollie Ward, 11, who survived a rare form of pancreatic cancer thanks to an experimental drug, and for other families who have fought childhood cancers. Nancy Goodman, founder of Kids v. Cancer, which is...

Jul 5, 2012

Houston Chronicle: Pharmaceutical firms to get incentives for child cancer drugs

WASHINGTON - When all else failed, the promise of corporate profits for pediatric cancer drugs did what cajoling to save children could not. Legislation by Texas Rep. Michael McCaul, soon to be signed by President Barack Obama, will offer drug companies multimillion-dollar incentives to pioneer medications for rare childhood diseases that afflict too few kids to make a profit. The legislation is meant to remedy a chronic mismatch in which the FDA has approved dozens of new drugs to combat adult cancers since 1980 - and only one for the treatment of childhood cancer. "We're...

Jul 3, 2012

Washington Post: Out of tragedy, some hope

This is the saddest story you will ever read about how a bill becomes law. It should also make you feel better about our dysfunctional political system. The story begins on a Sunday in February 2007, when a doctor suggested that Jacob Froman, then 8, had brain cancer. An MRI on Monday confirmed the grim diagnosis: metastatic medulloblastoma. Jacob was in surgery at 7 the next morning. 84 Comments Weigh InCorrections?Recommend Tweet Personal Post Ruth Marcus An editorial writer specializing in politics, the budget and other domestic issues, she also writes a weekly column and...

Oct 3, 2011

Houston Chronicle: Bill would speed process to create more child cancer drugs

This was supposed to be the year for Jacob Froman's bar mitzvah, except that a rare and fatal brain cancer reached out for him first. Just 10, Jacob died in 2009, two years after a diagnosis of medulloblastoma, a rare brain cancer with no drug designed specifically to treat it. During the arduous months of ultimately unsuccessful treatments, his mother, Nancy Goodman, discovered that few pharmaceutical companies are fully invested in developing drugs specifically targeted toward children's cancer and other rare diseases. She established Kids v. Cancer, her hope for children...

Sep 29, 2011

FDA Law Blog: Rep. McCaul Seeks to Reinvigorate Interest in the Creating Hope Act of 2011; Introduces Companion Bill in the House

Last week, Representative Michael McCaul (R-TX), along with Reps. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), Sue Myrick (R-NC), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), introduced H.R. 3059, the Creating Hope Act of 2011. The bill is a companion bill to S. 606, which was introduced in the Senate earlier this year by Senator Robert Casey (D-PA), along with co-sponsors Sens. Scott Brown (R-MA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Al Franken (D-MN), and Johnny Isakson (R-GA). Both the House and Senate versions of the Creating Hope Act of 2011, which are almost identical, are substantially similar to the 2010 version of the bill, S. 3697...

Sep 28, 2011

Roll Call: Creating Hope for Kids With Rare Diseases

Imagine your child fighting for his life, taking massive doses of highly toxic radiation, chemotherapy to kill the cancer in his body before it kills him. After years of pain and uncertainty, he beats the disease, only to find out that he will likely develop serious medical conditions related to the treatment that saved him. While survival rates are up for some types of pediatric cancer, for more than half who beat the odds and proudly call themselves “survivors,” the fight is not over. Three out of five are later afflicted with life-altering and life-threatening conditions, including...