Cancer Prevention Conference Underscores Need for Congress to Pass Appropriations Bill That Funds NIH
PHILADELPHIA — Despite innovative cancer research being presented at the Ninth Annual AACR Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference, as well as numerous other conferences organized by the American Association for Cancer Research each year, the pace of scientific discovery in cancer research will slow if Congress does not pass the pending appropriations bill for fiscal year 2011.
The Labor-Health and Human Services-Education (Labor-HHS) bill, as currently written in both the House and Senate, would provide a 3.2 percent increase in fiscal year 2011 for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The proposed $1 billion increase for the NIH in fiscal year 2011 will sustain the pace of progress in the fight against many diseases, including cancer, and will create new scientific opportunities.
“The breadth of current opportunities in cancer research and the excitement surrounding the potential for advancing the science for patient benefit are astounding,” said AACR Chief Executive Officer Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.). “Sustained increases in appropriations for the NIH will ensure that promising research in all aspects of cancer investigation will bring hope to millions of Americans who are suffering from this disease and also stimulate new thinking about cancer prevention.”
While the increase scarcely covers the cost of inflation, it will prevent cuts to numerous programs and projects that are furthering the understanding of cancer. If Congress passes a year-long continuing resolution instead of the appropriations bill, the NIH — along with other federal agencies — would remain at fiscal year 2010 levels through September 2011.
The AACR is sending an action alert to its members, asking them to contact their members of Congress in support of passing the Labor-HHS appropriations bill during the upcoming lame duck session.
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The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research is to prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1907, the AACR is the world’s oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research. The membership includes 32,000 basic, translational and clinical researchers; health care professionals; and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and more than 90 other countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise from the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through high-quality scientific and educational programs. It funds innovative, meritorious research grants, research fellowships and career development awards. The AACR Annual Meeting attracts more than 18,000 participants who share the latest discoveries and developments in the field. Special conferences throughout the year present novel data across a wide variety of topics in cancer research, treatment and patient care. Including Cancer Discovery, the AACR publishes seven major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; and Cancer Prevention Research. AACR journals represented 20 percent of the market share of total citations in 2009. The AACR also publishes CR, a magazine for cancer survivors and their families, patient advocates, physicians and scientists.