A picture of Representative Janice D. Schakowsky
Janice S.
Democrat IL 9

About Rep. Janice
  • Importance of Funding in Medical Research for Epithelioid Hemangioendothelioma and Other Diseases

    by Representative Janice D. Schakowsky

    Posted on 2013-02-06

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    SCHAKOWSKY. Mr. Speaker, today I rise to discuss the importance of funding medical research for epithelioid hemangioendothelioma and other diseases. Epithelioid hemangioendothelioma, known simply as EHE, is a rare cancer affecting both men and women of all ages, causing disability, pain, and often death. The disease causes tumors in the endothelium, often affecting numerous organs at a time.

    A study done by the American College of Chest Physicians states that EHE most often affects the lungs, liver, and bones, or a combination of these organs. Moreover, the disease causes a range of symptoms including pain, upper respiratory infections, bone fractures, weakness, and fatigue. The study also cites that while EHE is more common in women, men are more likely to die from it.

    Currently, there is no effective treatment for EHE. The American College of Chest Physicians study states that EHE does not respond to chemotherapy and radiation as well as other cancers, causing many sufferers of the disease to resort to surgeries and organ transplants to try to relieve EHE's painful symptoms.

    My constituent, Isaac Weinberg, is currently suffering from EHE. Because there is no cure for the disease, Isaac must have a liver transplant to alleviate some of the pain caused by it. Cutting medical research funding and limiting access to affordable healthcare would only hurt Isaac and other people suffering from EHE, as well as those suffering from other diseases.

    However, providing funding for medical research would not only help those with EHE, but people with other diseases, as well. EHE is a sarcoma, a type of cancer that is very common. Therefore, research for EHE would be beneficial in finding effective treatments and cures for many different cancers and diseases, potentially helping thousands of people.

    I want to thank my constituent and Isaac's father, Dr. Guy Weinberg, for establishing the Center for Research and Analysis of Vascular Tumors. CRAVAT provides desperately-needed research money dedicated to learning more about EHE. However, we cannot rely on private efforts alone. Federal funding is necessary if we are to make significant advances in discovering ways to treat, cure, and eliminate EHE and other diseases.

    Mr. Speaker, I rise to bring awareness to this important cause. Cutting medical research funding will hurt thousands of Americans suffering from diseases both rare and common, and we cannot allow that to happen. Instead, we must provide the crucial funding needed to research EHE and other diseases, allowing us to find cures, save lives, and help families like the Weinbergs.


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