In June 2018, ASCO President Monica M. Bertagnolli, MD, FACS, FASCO, authored To Conquer Cancer, Our Nation Must Continue to Invest in Research, which focuses on the need for robust federal funding of cancer research. The column was published in a special Media Planet supplement on clinical trials, which appeared as a USA Today centerfold and reached approximately 750,000 readers throughout the United States plus many more through online circulation.
Dr. Bertagnolli speaks to the tremendous strides made in understanding and treating cancer since the beginning of her career in oncology and writes that conquering cancer is no longer a pipe dream, but something that is “firmly within our grasp.”
“Research supported by NCI has spurred innovation, including most recently the first immunotherapies for cancer. This new treatment approach has produced dramatic improvement in outcomes for some patients with previously difficult-to-treat cancers.”
Dr. Bertagnolli stresses that research and innovation, especially that which is funded by the federal government, cannot slow down now. Even with recent investments from Congress to the National Cancer Institutes (NCI), the decline in purchasing power after more than a decade of stagnate funding means that NCI can only fund 12% of qualified research applications – less than half of the 27% of proposals funded in 2003.
“I believe in the promise of tomorrow and the discoveries that will expand our understanding of how best to prevent, treat, and ultimately conquer cancer,” writes Dr. Bertagnolli. “This is why I know we need a renewed national commitment to federally funded cancer research.”
Read the full op-ed.