PHILADELPHIA — Today, Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), issued the following statement regarding Vice President Joe Biden’s call for a “moon shot” to end cancer:
“We extend our deepest sympathy to Vice President Biden and his family for the loss of his son Beau to cancer, and thank the vice president for his unequivocal support of cancer research during his announcement yesterday at the White House. The vice president is absolutely correct: We are at a turning point in cancer research, with many new advances in recent years and incredible breakthroughs on the horizon. However, while tremendous progress has been made against this insidious disease, our nation’s ability to ensure future progress for cancer patients will require more research and more funding for the federal agencies that are vital for fueling progress against cancer, in particular the NIH, NCI, and FDA. Investments in these federal agencies will also help mitigate the immense economic cost of cancer. In the United States alone, it is estimated that the direct medical costs of cancer care in 2010 were nearly $125 billion, and that these costs will likely rise to $156 billion in 2020.
We applaud both the administration and Congress for proposing significant increases in funding for these three federal agencies during the fiscal year 2016 appropriations process, but we also realize that these proposed increases for cancer research and biomedical science are very much dependent on the president and members of the House and Senate working together on a broader budget deal to raise the sequester-imposed budget caps for FY 2016. By doing so and by committing to provide the NIH, NCI, and FDA with annual funding increases that are robust, sustained, and predictable, we will transform cancer care and bring hope to cancer patients and their loved ones.”