American anti-cancer organizations call on Congress to stand against Trump's draconian cuts in medical research 2018

American anti-cancer organizations call on Congress to stand against Trump's draconian cuts in medical research 2018
American anti-cancer organizations call on Congress to stand against Trump's draconian cuts in medical research 2018

On behalf of the entire cancer research community, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) was shocked to learn that the Trump Administration is proposing to cut $5.8 billion from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget in fiscal year (FY) 2018. At a time when extraordinary progress is being made against cancer and many other diseases, these draconian cuts would set research back for decades and also threaten the careers of an entire generation of young investigators working in labs and clinics all over the country who are committed to improving public health and saving lives.

Therefore, we call on members of Congress to stand firmly against this budget proposal. We urge them to maintain the momentum they initiated in FY 2016 when they provided the NIH with a $2 billion funding increase so as to ensure that medical research remains a national priority. Providing robust, sustained, and predictable annual funding increases for the NIH is absolutely required for the benefit of cancer patients nationwide. Since the budget proposal by the Trump administration will severely jeopardize the progress we are making in preventing, treating, and curing cancer, this proposal must be stopped in its tracks.

To support our message in opposition of President Trump’s proposal to cut the NIH budget, we encourage you to retweet/like our statement. In addition, be sure to raise your voice to by sending an emailmaking a phone call, or joining our Thunderclap.

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Cancer researchers and advocacy groups are denouncing U.S. President Donald Trump’s proposed budget, warning that its 19 per cent cut for the National Institutes of Health could cripple or kill former vice president Joe Biden’s cancer “moonshot” initiative and other important biomedical efforts.

The budget blueprint released Thursday did not include specific numbers for individual NIH institutes, such as the National Cancer Institute. Still, the proposed cuts represent a sharp turnaround from the Obama administration as well as congressional supporters, who pressed for more NIH funding in recent years. The Obama White House in particular pushed the moonshot initiative to try to accelerate progress against the disease.

Many research advocates predict—and hope—that such large cuts will face opposition in Congress. Officials at academic medical centres and other research facilities already are contacting lawmakers to voice their disapproval.

“Thank goodness there are three branches of government and that the legislative branch has shown strong support for NIH,” said Jon Retzlaff, managing director of science policy and government affairs at the American Association for Cancer Research, which represents 37,000 researchers, health-care professionals and patient advocates.

“We hope this budget is dead before it even arrives,” he said. With scientists making significant gains in translating a better understanding of cancer biology into improved therapies, he added, “this is the time to be pushing on the accelerator and not putting on the parking brake.”

The 21st Century Cures Act, passed late last year, authorized $1.8 billion (U.S.) for the moonshot effort over seven years. The first $300 million has already been distributed.