ASCO joins others in the cancer research and care community in calling for a $32 billion budget for NIH to sustain and enhance the search for new cures.
“The American Cancer Society [recently] issued a report showing a 20% decline in cancer death rates between 1991 and 2010, and estimating that 1.3 million deaths have been averted as a result of the decline.
“This is tremendous progress and a direct result of our nation’s commitment to cancer research and care. This 20% decline in death rates shows the progress we’ve made using the earlier generations of cancer treatments. Now, based on accelerating understanding of cancer, we are poised to make even greater progress. Frustrating, this potential is limited by decreasing funding for the National Institutes of Health—funding has fallen steadily for a decade in real terms—and by increasing barriers to clinical research with oncologists nationwide reporting that the cuts are harming their ability to conduct cancer research.
“While the recently passed budget allows for the reversal of some of the most drastic cuts, the truth is that our nation is gradually abandoning its historical commitment to leading cancer research globally. Given what the field of oncology has accomplished despite more limited resources, imagine what we could do with sustained or increased funding. To support accelerating improvements in cancer care and the kinds of statistics released this week, ASCO joins others in the cancer research and care community in calling for a $32 billion budget for NIH to sustain and enhance the search for new cures.” ■
—Clifford A. Hudis, MD, FACP