Senate Recommends Increased Funding for Medical Research

Top Quote Leading Nonprofits in Melanoma Applaud Allocation of New Funds, Pledge to Advance Breakthrough Melanoma Treatments. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) August 02, 2013 - WASHINGTON, D.C. - On Tuesday, the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chair, Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), announced the Subcommittee's recommendation for a $25 million allocation to the Department of Defense's Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP). This is the first time the Senate has slated funding for the PRCRP, which has been supported by the House in past years. The Senate recommendation prioritizes five cancers to be eligible for funding, including melanoma. In his statement today, Sen. Durbin noted the special burden melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer, places on members of the military.

    Deeply committed to enhancing the availability of breakthrough therapies for people with melanoma, the Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) and the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) and commend the Senate Subcommittee's milestone recognition of the need for further medical research to ensure that U.S. service members and citizens have access to innovative treatment options against the deadliest skin cancer. Recognizing the direct link between the incidence of melanoma among our nation's military and exposure to UV, specifically prolonged sun exposure in certain theaters, the House of Representatives' Defense Appropriations Subcommittee first allocated funds for melanoma to the DoD's PRCRP in 2009.

    For the 2014 fiscal year DoD process, the House Appropriations Committee listed melanoma as one of nine other cancers eligible to compete for $15 million in grants under the DoD's PRCRP. The Senate's proposal to increase the pool of funding and further prioritize specific cancers, including melanoma, comes at an important time for the medical research community.

    The MRA and the MRF urge members of Congress to quickly adopt the Senate proposal. Investment in melanoma research will support the research community in building on recent research and treatment breakthroughs. Congressional funding through the PRCRP will also soften the blow of reductions in the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) research budget to progress in treating melanoma. The NIH's budget was cut this year by 5.1 percent amounting to a reduction of $1.5 billion from its $31 billion total budget.

    To ensure breakthrough research around melanoma treatments progresses, the MRA and the MRF will continue working with experts in the research community to ensure that newly allocated funds are being used to the best benefit for people with melanoma, with assets afforded to the most promising research initiatives.

    Marissa Maybee
    Melanoma Research Alliance
    (202) 336-8922
    mmaybee ( @ ) curemelanoma dot org

    Lauren Smith
    Melanoma Research Foundation
    (202) 347-9675
    lsmith ( @ ) melanoma dot org

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