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Pancreatic Cancer Action Network Legislative Priorities for 2012
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network calls on the 112th Congress to help us make progress against the fourth leading cancer killer by:
1. Passing the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act (formerly the Pancreatic Cancer Research & Education Act). Click here to read more.
2. Ensuring that the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has sufficient funding to allow for progress in diseases like pancreatic cancer by supporting continued growth in the NCI budget for FY2013. Click here to read more.
1. Passing the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly cancers. Approximately 94% of pancreatic cancer patients will die within five years of diagnosis and 74% of patients die within the first year of diagnosis. These statistics have changed little in the last 40 years. Moreover, according to a report recently released by the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, pancreatic cancer is expected to move from the fourth leading cause of cancer death to the second leading cause of cancer death by 2020.
This disease is also severely under-researched and under-funded. Unlike many cancers, there are no early detection tools or effective treatments for pancreatic cancer. Part of the problem is that the National Cancer Institute (NCI) allocates only approximately 2% of its budget for pancreatic cancer research.
Recognizing that the time has come to make true progress on this deadly disease, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network has worked with Congress to develop the first-ever federal legislation dedicated to the creation of a national strategic plan, or scientific frameworks, for pancreatic cancer research as well as other recalcitrant, or deadly, cancers.
The Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act, formerly known as the Pancreatic Cancer Research & Education Act, will require the NCI to convene working groups to develop scientific frameworks focused on studying specific recalcitrant, or deadly, cancers, starting with pancreatic cancer. The frameworks will identify promising scientific advances, assess the sufficiency of qualified researchers working in relevant specialties, outline a plan to coordinate research, and include recommendations to advance research, including appropriate benchmarks for measuring progress.
Click here for the current status of the bill.
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2. Ensuring that the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has sufficient funding to allow for progress in diseases like pancreatic cancer by supporting continued growth in the NCI budget for FY2012.
The federal government is by far the primary funder of cancer research. Thanks to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network's efforts, federal funding for pancreatic cancer research through the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has dramatically increased in the last decade, yet it is still far below the levels needed to make true progress. Unfortunately, the fact is that when adjusted for inflation, the NCI's budget has decreased by more than 15% since Fiscal Year 2003. We not only need more money for the NCI but need to ensure that more of the NCI's funding is focused on pancreatic cancer research, which currently receives only approximately 2% of the NCI's $5 billion budget. The current funding levels are simply not sufficient to make true progress against the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death.
To accomplish this, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network educates Members of Congress about pancreatic cancer and the specific challenges our research community faces. We also join our partners in One Voice Against Cancer (OVAC), a coalition of more than 40 cancer-related organizations interested in increasing federal funding for cancer research, to call for specific funding levels for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and NCI. Funding NIH and NCI not only leads to a better understanding of cancer prevention and treatment, funding research also plays a significant role in job creation.
- More than 80% of the NIH budget is awarded to scientists in communities across the country, away from the NIH campus. These grants and contracts directly support research-related jobs and equipment purchases, along with clinical trials. In fact, in FY 2009 NIH "funded more than 37,000 principal investigators on research grants, with many thousands more personnel supported by the projects."¹
- In fiscal year 2007, every dollar invested in NIH gave more than $2 to the states: "…an overall investment of $22.846 billion from NIH generated a total of $50.537 billion in new state business activity in the form of increased output of goods and services."²
¹Biennial Report of the Director, National Institutes of Health,Fiscal Years 2008 & 2009, National Institutes of Health, NIH, DHHS, Bethesda, MD, September 2010, http://report.nih.gov/biennialreport/.
²FamiliesUSA. In Your Own Backyard: How NIH Funding Helps Your State’s Economy. Washington, DC: 2008. http://www.familiesusa.org/issues/global-health/publications/in-your-own-backyard.html.
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