Cancer Control: A Legislative Summary

Milestones in the History of Cancer Control in Congress and at NCI

1937

Congress enacts legislation to establish the National Cancer Institute.

1971

Congress reaffirms its support by enacting The National Cancer Act and including specific language regarding cancer control.

1973

NCI creates the Division of Cancer Control and Rehabilitation, the first structural unit within the Institute devoted to cancer control.

1983

NCI forms the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control to accelerate the science of cancer control, giving a new definition to the term and a framework that describes a linear series of phases from hypothesis generation to demonstration projects.

1996

The NCI Director and Board of Scientific Advisors convene the Cancer Control Program Review Group to assess NCI’s cancer control research program and make recommendations for the pursuit of research opportunities with the greatest potential to reduce the nation’s cancer burden.

1997

NCI undergoes a major programmatic reorganization and establishes the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences.

1998–Present

Congress expresses interest and requests information on DCCPS scientific priorities, including cancer registries, environment and breast cancer, cancer in minorities, tobacco control and harm reduction, health communications, cancer screening technologies, 5 A Day and other nutrition programs, weight, physical activity, and cancer survivorship.

2006

Congress passes the National Institutes of Health Reform Act of 2006, reauthorizing the NIH and instituting certain reforms to NIH’s organization and structure. One such reform is the promotion of research that takes place across multiple institutes, as is the case with many research initiatives within DCCPS.

2009

Congress passes the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the Stimulus, which supports DCCPS work related to cancer prevention, screening, treatment, and genomics.

Congress passes the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, giving the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to regulate tobacco. The FDA is utilizing DCCPS research related to tobacco marketing, tobacco cessation, secondhand smoke, and other topics in implementing its regulatory authority.

2010

Congress passes the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), with multiple implications for the research agenda of DCCPS. The ACA supports certain types of cost of care research and comparative effectiveness research that DCCPS has been initiating for many years. The ACA improves insurance coverage for many preventive care and screening services that are studied by DCCPS, as well as tobacco cessation treatments. The ACA also requires the NIH to conduct research concerning screening and prevention of breast cancer in young women.

2013

Congress passes the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act as part of the National Defense Authorization Act, instructing the NCI to develop scientific frameworks that will provide direction for research concerning the most deadly cancers such as pancreatic cancer.