December 7, 2020
Dear Chairman Shelby, Vice Chairman Durbin, Chairman Visclosky and Ranking Member Calvert:
The undersigned organizations convene under the All Cancers Congress (ACC), a group of cancer non- profits dedicated to working together for the benefit of all cancer patients write to urge you to work toward the enactment of a Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) Defense Appropriations Act, to ensure that critical medical research programs related to several forms of cancer (breast, blood, colorectal, kidney, melanoma, pancreatic, brain cancer, lung, liver, ovarian, pediatric brain tumors, prostate, stomach and other forms of cancers) included within the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) are fully funded in FY21 as a component of the Defense Appropriations Act.
We thank Congress for addressing the immediate need to pass a short-term continuing resolution to prevent a government shutdown but are concerned about the possibility of a long term continuing resolution. Failure to enact the FY21 Defense Appropriations Act will delay critical discoveries into new treatments and cures that will lower costs and save the lives of the millions of Americans, including veterans and the military service members– who are battling cancer.
As you know, cancer is a relentless disease that impacts millions of Americans and costs our economy over $200 billion annually in direct treatment costs and lost productivity. We have worked tirelessly to advocate for continued funding for health research programs and while our organizations represent patients with various forms of cancer, we have come together to present you with several requests as you finalize the FY 2021 appropriations package:
- While all of these cancers are included in the FY 2021 House and Senate bill either within the CDMRP Peer-Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP) or as separate line items, we respectfully request that you maintain separate line items for lung and ovarian cancers instead of including them in the PRCRP.
- Provide $20 million for the lung cancer line item
- Provide $35 million for the ovarian cancer line item.
- We commend both the House and the Senate for the inclusion of “blood cancers” and “pediatric brain tumors” as a topic area in the PRCRP and we request robust funding of the PRCRP.
- We request that colorectal cancer continue to be eligible for funding through the Peer-Reviewed Cancer Research Program.
- Provide $50 million for the Kidney Cancer Research Program
- Provide $110 million for the Prostate Cancer Research Program
- Continue the inclusion of bladder cancer in the Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program
- Continue the inclusion of interstitial cystitis in the Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program
Timely enactment of the Appropriations Act will ensure continuity in the defense health research programs, allowing the Department of Defense to most effectively convene programmatic panels to identify and implement programmatic changes, effectively convene peer-review panels to provide thorough review of grant applications, and ultimately award FY21 grants.
We, the undersigned organizations respectfully request your support for funding all these programs within the CDMRP and we urge you to work in a bipartisan and bicameral way to complete the FY21 Defense Appropriations Act.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this request. Please contact Elridge Proctor at firstname.lastname@example.org or Robin Levy at RLevy@myeloma.org with questions or to provide more information.
Alliance for Patient Access
American Urological Association
Association for Clinical Oncology
Cancers and Careers | CEW Foundation
Fight Colorectal Cancer
GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer
International Myeloma Foundation
National Brain Tumor Society
Susan G. Komen
Zero – The End of Prostate Cancer