Federal Funding is Critical to Continuing Progress Against Cancer, ASCO Tells Congress

October 30, 2019

Federal agencies, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) are currently operating under a Continuing Resolution (CR) and ASCO is continuing to vocally advocate for increased federal funding for cancer research in Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 and beyond to ensure that we can continue progress against cancer.   

Recently, ASCO’s Government Relations Committee Chair-elect, Carolyn Hendricks, MD, FASCO, spoke at a congressional briefing organized by the One Voice Against Cancer coalition. During her presentation, Dr. Hendricks, a breast cancer specialist, spoke about the importance of federal funding in making progress against cancer, and highlighted how federal funding is helping researchers understand how to reduce the risk of breast cancer, determine personalized breast cancer screening recommendations, identify which patients will be most likely to benefit from certain treatment options, and address disparities in cancer care.

ASCO also joined other members of the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research in urging the leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to quickly enact a FY 2020 funding bill that includes robust, sustained funding for the NIH. While the passage of the CR averted a government shutdown, it creates inefficiencies and makes it harder for NIH, investigators, and research institutions to plan effectively for the year ahead. A pending Senate bill includes a $3 billion increase for the NIH, and the House-passed funding bill includes a $2 billion increase for the NIH.

“We are grateful that both the House-passed spending package and the draft bill released by the Senate Appropriations Committee on Sept. 18 would continue the momentum of recent years by providing NIH with a meaningful funding increase over the previous year,” the group writes. “In particular, the $42.1 billion proposed in the Senate bill would offer even greater opportunity to expand NIH’s capacity to fund more promising research, provide support for the next generation of researchers, and allow the agency to address other critical needs.”

Tell Congress to act quickly to enact a full FY2020 funding bill.

Read the full letter to the leaders of the Congressional Appropriations Committees.

Follow ASCO in Action for updates on federal funding and other cancer policy news.