AACR President Testifies on Importance of NIH and NCI Funding Before Senate Cancer Coalition
June 19, 2012
WASHINGTON, D.C. — AACR President Frank McCormick, Ph.D., F.R.S., D.Sc. (hon.), served on a top-tier panel of expert witnesses during the Senate Cancer Coalition congressional forum, “Preventing and Treating Breast Cancer in the 21st Century: Seeking the Right Treatment at the Right Time.”
This forum, the first public event since 2003, was held at 10 a.m. ET in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 562, and focused on cutting-edge cancer research and specifically explore advances in the treatment, prevention and detection of breast cancer. Congressional forum panelists will discuss the development of more personalized approaches to breast cancer as scientists continue to make progress in understanding the causes of the most common form of cancer in women.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to testify before the Senate Cancer Coalition about the progress we have made in saving lives from cancer. These advances have been made possible through federal support for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI),” said McCormick, director of the University of California, San Francisco Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. “However, there is now widespread, well-founded fear that the current budget crisis is jeopardizing our ability to take advantage of today’s unprecedented scientific opportunities to accelerate and strengthen our nation’s efforts against this disease, which still takes the lives of more than 1,500 Americans every day.”
A little over two months ago at the AACR Annual Meeting 2012 held in Chicago, Ill., the AACR Board of Directors declared that the ability of cancer researchers to bring the promise of science to improve the outcomes for cancer patients is in peril due to a decade of declining budgets at the NIH. For the past decade, the NIH budget has remained essentially flat, and when factoring in the rate of biomedical inflation, the agency has lost about $6 billion in purchasing power
— nearly 20 percent of the NIH budget. As a result, the chances that a researcher will be awarded a NIH grant are now at all-time lows.