President’s Budget will Devastate U.S. Research Enterprise

Statement by ASCO President Daniel F. Hayes, MD, FACP, FASCO
For immediate release
March 16, 2017


Mary Rappaport

We soundly oppose President Trump’s budget outline, which would cut $6 billion from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Reducing NIH’s funding by nearly 20 percent will devastate our nation’s already fragile federal research infrastructure and undercut a longstanding commitment to biomedical science that has fueled advances in cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.

When we are on the cusp of tremendous advances in cancer care, the United States can’t turn back the clock on research that will benefit millions of Americans with life-threatening diseases and their families. Gutting the U.S. research infrastructure won’t make America First, but will decidedly place the United States behind other countries in scientific advances. Failure to nurture the historic U.S. investment in research places health outcomes, scientific leadership, and economic growth at risk.

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) urges Congress to reject the proposed cuts and increase federal support for NIH and the National Cancer Institute (NCI).  

We stand ready to work with lawmakers to finalize a fiscal year 2017 (FY 2017) spending package including the $34.1 billion in funding for the NIH passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee in June of last year. We further urge Congress to continue this budget trajectory with significant increases for NIH in FY 2018, in addition to funds included in the 21st Century Cures Act for the Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot Initiative.

Now is not the time to slow progress in finding new treatments and cures for patients with cancer. In fact, after more than a decade of flat funding, our nation’s biomedical research infrastructure must catch up with sustained increases in future years to meet the possibility of today’s science.

About ASCO: 

Founded in 1964, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) is committed to making a world of difference in cancer care. As the world’s leading organization of its kind, ASCO represents more than 40,000 oncology professionals who care for people living with cancer. Through research, education, and promotion of the highest-quality patient care, ASCO works to conquer cancer and create a world where cancer is prevented or cured, and every survivor is healthy. ASCO is supported by its affiliate organization, the Conquer Cancer Foundation. Learn more at, explore patient education resources at www.Cancer.Net, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Visit for the latest cancer policy developments. For an overview of current policy issues, read ASCO’s cancer policy issue briefs.