American Association for Cancer Research



                                                                                                         MARCH 2009



National Cancer Advisory Board assesses the state of the cancer community and considers future goals

The National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB) held its 149th meeting at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, February 2-4.

The NCAB is an 18-member presidentially-appointed board that advises the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) with regard to NCI priorities, new initiatives and ongoing activities. Members include leaders from the health and scientific disciplines as well as the fields of public policy, law, health policy, economics and management and the environment.

NCI Director John E. Niederhuber, M.D., opened the meeting with the Director's Report. He briefed members about NCI's current budget status and the institute's potential strategy for dispersing additional funds provided through the FY09 federal appropriations bill. He indicated that infrastructure improvements, an increase in the payline for research grants and a 1 to 2 percent cost-of-living increase to grants that are ongoing or non-competing would be the top priorities.

Niederhuber also said that the NCI continues to work with the new administration's transition teams to emphasize clinical research, health information technology, drug costs to society, cancer as a model for studying disease, and quality of cancer care as ways of supporting President Obama's broader health-related priorities.

AACR President, Raymond N. DuBois, M.D., Ph.D., delivered a presentation outlining AACR's priorities and activities to advance cancer research. He reported that AACR continues to thrive and expand its services to the cancer community. He also gratefully acknowledged the critical role of NCI collaboration in the success of its programs, such as the AACR-FDA-NCI Cancer Biomarkers Collaborative and the AACR-NCI programs for minorities and the medically underserved, and the involvement of NCI staff on key AACR committees, task forces, think tanks and editorial boards.

NCAB members also heard presentations on a variety of subjects, including recommendations to enhance peer review, progress in implementing recommendations from the Clinical Trials Working Group (CTWG) and the Translational Research Working Group (TRWG), and an update on NCI's tobacco control efforts and activities. Other highlights included a biennial review of the inclusion of women and minorities in clinical research and an update from the Center for Cancer Research and Intramural Clinical Research Steering Committee.


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