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Federal funding for cancer research has remained flat for more than a decade, and when adjusted for inflation, funding has actually decreased. National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins, MD, recently called 2013 the “darkest ever” year for agency funding. ASCO is raising the alarm about continuing erosion of cancer research funding and urging the federal government to take bold new action to ensure the pace of progress is not stalled. Click on the headlines below to learn more.
Cancer Progress in Jeopardy: Stories From the Front Lines
In a new series, ASCO is exploring what’s happening on the front lines in the laboratory and the clinic due to the shrinking federal funding for cancer research and clinical trials.
- “What Brilliant Minds Are We Losing?”—The budget sequestration in March 2013 forced many research programs to cut staff and narrow their research topics. Here’s how it impacted a breast cancer research project led by Dr. Robert Clarke, PhD, DSc, dean for research at Georgetown University Medical Center and co-director of the Breast Cancer Program at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, DC.
- The Funding Crisis in Cancer Clinical Trials: A Focus on Cooperative Groups—Clinical trials supported by federal funding have led to important breakthroughs in cancer care, often in areas that industry has no incentive to pursue. Federal funding cuts through the across-the-board sequestration that went into effect in 2013, as well as decreases in real-dollar funding for the NCI over the past decade, are taking a toll on cancer clinical trials. Fewer clinical trials are underway, limiting options for people with cancer, and slowing progress overall.
Share Your Story! ASCO wants to hear your story about how the budget cuts at NIH are affecting your research. Email email@example.com.
Click to view ASCO Chief Medical Officer Richard L. Schilsky and former ASCO President and clinical trials pioneer James F. Holland discussing the importance of a federally-funded clinical trials network.
Federally Funded Cancer Research Educational Series
As part of an effort to educate and mobilize its membership to call for a renewed national investment in federally funded cancer research, ASCO has developed an educational series of articles that explores the decade-long decline in federal funding for cancer research – and why this decline must be reversed.
- Federally Funded Cancer Research: The Catalyst for Progress Against Cancer—It has been over 40 years since President Richard Nixon signed the National Cancer Act into law. With this landmark legislation—and a robust federal investment in cancer research—the United States entered an era of rapid advancement in our understanding of cancer. That investment has yielded tremendous progress: more people than ever before are surviving cancer, and quality of life for those with the disease has dramatically improved.
- Federally Funded Cancer Research: The Politics and Process of Medical Research Funding—Current economic and political realities threaten the pace of progress against cancer. A sharply divided Congress and automatic, across-the-board sequestration cuts are converging to seriously undermine our nation’s continued investment in medical research.
- Federally Funded Cancer Research: The Key Role of the National Cancer Institute—This third article in our series focuses on the National Cancer Institute’s research grants programs and how they sustain the work of cancer researchers throughout the United States.
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Click the infographic at left to view the devastating effect of stagnant budgets on cancer research. Download and share this information.