On Friday, August 18, 2017, the RACE for Children Act became law, ensuring that novel and exciting new cancer drugs will now be developed not only for adults, but also for children with cancer.
One of the greatest challenges of pediatric cancer research has been a lack of access to novel and exciting drugs. Although cancer research has undergone quantum leaps in the past years, the new and exciting treatments for adults with cancer rarely translate into new treatments for children. As a result, kids with cancer get out-dated treatments that are often forty years old.
The RACE for Children Act will bring new drugs to kids with cancer by authorizing the FDA to require that novel drugs developed for adult cancers also be developed for children with cancer when the molecular targets of the drugs are relevant to childhood cancers.
In addition, the RACE for Children Act will result in tens of millions of new research dollars flowing into pediatric cancer clinical research each year, as drug companies undertake these new pediatric studies. (Read more here.)
RACE for Children Act became law as part of the FDA Reauthorization Act, which Congress passed a few weeks ago.
This has been a heroic effort and there are many who deserve praise and thanks, including our champions on Capitol Hill, experts at the FDA, NCI and NIH, medical research centers, pediatric cancer advocacy organizations, kids in treatment and survivors — everyone who cares about children with cancer. Thank you all.
There is a Jewish phrase, Tikkun Olam, which means to heal the world. For all of us who have lost children to cancer, or whose children have lost their health to cancer, the enactment of the RACE for Children Act does not make our kids whole. It still doesn’t bring back Jacob, but it is one more step towards healing the world.
Who would have thought, eight years ago when we started Kids v Cancer that our little organization would have succeeded in getting two laws passed to change the landscape of pediatric cancer research: The Creating Hope Act and the RACE for Children Act. We are grateful for all the support we have received and look forward to building on this momentum.
Nancy, Elena, Jenn and Leika