The legislation is aimed at improving health outcomes for All Oklahomans
Recently, the Oklahoma Senate passed Senate Bill 513 to increase access to biomarker testing, which can help determine the best treatment plan for each patient. The American Cancer Society, Cancer Action Network, is sponsoring this significant policy change to ensure cancer patients have access to precision medicine.
Dubbed ‘the right treatment at the right time,’ precision medicine has played a critical role in improving cancer outcomes. For example, patients with certain lung cancer types who received biomarker testing and targeted therapy had a 31% reduction in mortality. But to determine if a patient will benefit from certain targeted therapies, doctors must test for specific biomarkers – such as gene mutations – found in blood, tissues, or other biospecimens that provide insight into physiological processes, medical conditions, or diseases.
“The advances in cancer treatment that have come from being able to tailor approaches to a person’s condition are critical for winning the fight against cancer. This legislation will bring the hope and promise of precision medicine to people with a cancer diagnosis across the state on a more equitable basis,” said Matt Glanville, Oklahoma government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. “It’s time for us to make the future of modern medicine accessible to more Oklahomans.”
Despite its benefits, access to biomarker testing has not kept pace with the rate of innovation due to several barriers, including lack of coverage by private health insurance and Medicaid programs.
For more information on precision medicine, cancer biomarkers, current barriers to biomarker testing, and ACS CAN’s policy recommendations, visit: https://www.fightcancer.org/biomarkers.
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) makes cancer a top priority for policymakers at every level of government. ACS CAN empowers volunteers across the country to make their voices heard to influence evidence-based public policy change that improves the lives of people with cancer and their families. We believe everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer. Since 2001, as the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN has successfully advocated for billions of dollars in cancer research funding, expanded access to quality affordable health care, and advanced proven tobacco control measures. We’re more determined than ever to stand together with our volunteers to end cancer as we know it, for everyone. Join the fight by visiting https://www.fightcancer.org/.