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Ask Your Members of Congress to Support PERA!

The Cancer Support Community (CSC) has joined with almost 20 organizations in support of the Patient Experience in Research Act (PERA; H.R. 2244) which was introduced by Reps. Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Leonard Lance (R-NJ) in the U.S. House of Representatives in May, 2017. This legislation will create a pilot study in which three clinical trials will incorporate a distress screening measure to evaluate, document, and follow-up on the social and emotional factors experienced by cancer patients. The overall goal of PERA is to measure the impact of the full patient experience in clinical trials.

The Institute of Medicine concluded in 2008 that comprehensive cancer care must include psychosocial care. In 2016, the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer adopted a standard that states that patients must undergo distress screening so that patients have their full range of needs addressed. Patients enrolled in clinical trials deserve the same level of care. Integrating distress screening and follow-up care in the clinical trial process can help identify early potential causes for trial abandonment, improve patient outcomes, leverage efficiency of clinical trials resources, and enhance trial completion timeline and compliance.

Take action today and send a letter to your Members of Congress explaining the important of PERA and asking them to co-sponsor it. It is important that we support the comprehensive range of needs facing cancer patients in all stages of treatment, including clinical trials.