American Association for Cancer Research

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American Association for Cancer Research Warns Diminished National Institutes of Health Funding Jeopardizes Ability to Eradicate Cancer Health Disparities

July 24, 2013

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is hosting a congressional briefing today to highlight the vital contributions that federally funded biomedical research is making to eliminate cancer health disparities.

“Even though cancer research has enabled tremendous advances against cancer, more than 1.6 million Americans will be diagnosed with this terrible disease this year, and a disproportionate amount of the suffering and deaths due to cancer will fall on racial and ethnic minorities, the poor and the medically underserved,” said Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.), chief executive officer of the AACR. “The AACR is committed to eliminating cancer health disparities by fostering research into their underlying causes. This briefing highlights the reason why it is important that the administration and Congress provide sustained funding increases to the federal agencies, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), that are integral to ensuring health equity for all patients with cancer.”

The briefing, co-sponsored by Representatives Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), and including Howard Koh, M.D., M.P.H., assistant secretary for health at the Department of Health and Human Services, and Worta McCaskill-Stevens, M.D., M.S., from the NCI, among others, will take place in the Rayburn House Office Building, room B-340, from 12–1:30 p.m. For the full program, click here.

“The decline in funding for NIH and NCI could not come at a worse time because the opportunities have never been greater for turning our growing scientific knowledge into effective strategies for eliminating the disparities in cancer that represent a major public health problem in our country,” said William G. Nelson, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center and past co-chair of the AACR’s International Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities. “Restoring funding to the NIH and NCI is vitally important if scientists and physicians and other relevant stakeholders are to eliminate cancer health disparities.”  

The AACR is committed to making research count for every patient, regardless of race, ethnicity, age, gender, socioeconomic status, or community. This briefing will highlight the significance of federally funded research in improving our understanding of cancer health disparities and developing targeted interventions to eliminate them.