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American Association for Cancer Research report asks Congress to increase federal funding of biomedical and cancer research

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The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), today will release its AACR Cancer Progress Report 2011, in which its calls on Congress to increase funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

The report urges Congress to provide the NIH and NCI with sustained budget increases of at least 5 percent above the biomedical inflation rate. AACR says this level of support will ensure the future scientific advances needed to capitalize on past research investments, spur innovation, and make a difference in the lives of people worldwide.

“At this defining moment in cancer research, we hope that the AACR’s landmark Cancer Progress Report 2011 will help everyone to recognize the tremendous progress that has been made in our understanding of cancer and the enormous opportunities that now exist to stem the tide of this disease, which is diagnosed in one out of two men, and one out of three women in their lifetimes,” said AACR President Judy E. Garber, MD, MPH, director of the Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

“The value of cancer research and biomedical research to the economic health and well-being of this nation cannot be overestimated.”

According to the AACR, its Cancer Progress Report 2011 comes at a critical time — when decades of fundamental knowledge about cancer have led to incredible scientific and technological breakthroughs. However, the relatively flat funding of the NIH and the NCI since 2003 threatens both the momentum gained and future progress of cancer research, contends the AACR, which is the world’s oldest and largest association dedicated to the acceleration of advances in cancer research for the prevention and cure of cancer.

“Today, more than any time in history, cancer researchers are maximizing the impact of the fundamental discoveries made over the past 40 years and are translating them into improved patient care. Sustained funding increases for the NIH and NCI are an urgent national priority that will improve the health of Americans and strengthen America’s innovation and economy,” said AACR Immediate Past President Elizabeth H. Blackburn, PhD, Nobel Laureate and Morris Herzstein professor of biology and physiology at the University of California, San Francisco.

The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research is to prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1907, the AACR is the world’s oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research. The membership includes 33,000 basic, translational and clinical researchers; health care professionals; and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and more than 90 other countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise from the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through high-quality scientific and educational programs. It funds innovative, meritorious research grants, research fellowships and career development awards. The AACR Annual Meeting attracts more than 18,000 participants who share the latest discoveries and developments in the field. Special conferences throughout the year present novel data across a wide variety of topics in cancer research, treatment and patient care. Including Cancer Discovery, the AACR publishes seven major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; and Cancer Prevention Research. AACR journals represented 20 percent of the market share of total citations in 2009. The AACR also publishes Cancer Today, a magazine for cancer patients, survivors and their caregivers which provides practical knowledge and new hope for cancer survivors. A major goal of the AACR is to educate the general public and policymakers about the value of cancer research in improving public health, the vital importance of increases in sustained funding for cancer research, and the need for national policies that foster innovation and progress in the field.

Courtesy of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

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