Speier Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Raise Awareness About the Most Lethal Type of Childhood Brain Cancer
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) and Congressman Steve Knight (R-Palmdale) have introduced a bipartisan resolution to raise awareness and advocate research for a very common, but little understood form of pediatric cancer called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG).
H. Res. 586 would establish a national “DIPG Awareness Week” and call for expanded research for treatments and care. The resolution was first suggested by Janet Demeter, an Agua Dulce, California resident who lost her son Jack to DIPG in 2011.
“We have to recognize that fighting DIPG is one of the best ways to fight childhood brain cancer,” said Speier. “DIPG is responsible for the most pediatric brain tumor deaths and it is one of the most lethal types of cancer. It’s terrible that we haven’t focused on it and don’t know more about it. This resolution is a first step toward creating the type of national attention that this disease will require if we are ever going to find a cure.”
“Raising awareness for DIPG is long overdue, and this resolution will help bring us one step closer to ending childhood cancer once and for all,” said Knight. “Nothing hurts parents more than knowing there’s nothing they can do to keep their children from suffering. I am extremely grateful for all of the work Janet has done on this issue and look forward to bringing this cause to the national stage.”
DIPG is responsible for the most pediatric brain tumor deaths each year. Less than one percent of its victims live more than five years after diagnosis, and the median survival time is only nine months. However it has not garnered significant attention from the media, researchers, or the government. As a result, parents are regularly told there is little they can do for their children.
Speier, a member of the Childhood Cancer Caucus and co-chair of the Biomedical Research Caucus, has a long history of supporting critical investments in medical research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Department of Defense (DoD).