WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Murkowski today announced that the Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Act of 2007 was approved by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Senator Murkowski is an original cosponsor of the legislation which will now move to the Senate floor.

“This legislation supports important research into the causes of and possible prevention strategies for breast cancer,” said Senator Murkowski. “With three million women living with breast cancer today, the disease is taking a serious toll on the entire nation. Unfortunately, the causes of breast cancer are largely unknown. This bill will further efforts to study and treat this disease.”

The Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Act will ensure that scientists have the resources needed to explore the relationship between the environment and breast cancer. It would boost the research investment on the role of the environment in the development of breast cancer and also establish a national research strategy. Specifically, it would authorize $40 million each year for Fiscal Years 2008 - 2012 to establish multi-institutional, multidisciplinary Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Centers of Excellence. Each Center would include institutions with different areas of expertise working together as well as collaborating with community organizations in the area. Modeled after the tremendously successful Breast Cancer Research Program at the Department of Defense, grants would be awarded under a competitive, peer-reviewed process that involves patient advocates.