Cancer Control: A Legislative Summary

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


Congress enacts legislation to establish the National Cancer Institute.


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


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


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Congress passes the 21st Century Cures Act, authorizing $1.8 billion in funding for the Cancer MoonshotSM over 7 years. NCI rapidly establishes a systematic process for implementing the Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel Report’s recommendations. NCI staff lead the effort to operationalize those recommendations, forming working groups and using a variety of mechanisms to develop funding opportunities aligned with each recommendation. DCCPS has lead responsibility at NCI in a number of priority areas identified by the Panel.


Congress passes The Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access and Research (STAR) Act, developed in collaboration with many childhood cancer organizations as a comprehensive childhood cancer bill to advance pediatric and adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer research and treatments, improve cancer surveillance, and enhance resources for survivors and their families. The STAR Act authorizes improvements to biospecimen collection and associated infrastructure, registry infrastructure, and research to improve the care and quality of life for cancer survivors – including children and AYAs.


The federal government announces the investment of $50 million, proposed to be extended in equal amounts per year for the next 10 years, in the Childhood Cancer Data Initiative (CCDI). These funds allow NCI to enhance data sharing, collection, analysis, and access for ongoing and planned childhood and AYA cancer and survivorship research throughout the institute.

Last Updated
September 24, 2020