WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Association for Cancer Research will release the AACR Cancer Progress Report 2012 at 2 p.m. ET at a press event that will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 12 in the Holeman Lounge of the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
The AACR Cancer Progress Report 2012, which will be simultaneously published in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the AACR, celebrates the many ways that scientists have made research count for cancer patients and highlights the great need for continued cancer research. The report chronicles the experiences and sentiments of 12 cancer survivors, as well as a mother and father who suffered unimaginable grief when their 7-year-old died of neuroblastoma. A number of these survivors will be in attendance at the press conference.
“It is a new day for cancer research and cancer patients,” said Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.), chief executive officer of the American Association for Cancer Research. “The inspiring stories of courage that are narrated in this report should serve as a catalyst for strengthening our nation’s resolve to eradicate cancer as a major threat to American lives.”
The report further points out that the cancer research and biomedical science enterprise is at great risk if Congress doesn’t act to prevent a budget mechanism called sequestration, which was created by Congress in the Budget Control Act of 2011 to force the government to address the federal budget deficit. In addition, the report makes a plea to Congress to put an end to declining budgets for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Cancer Institute (NCI).
For the past decade the NIH budget has remained essentially flat, and when factoring in the rate of biomedical inflation, the agency has effectively lost more than $6 billion, or nearly 20 percent, of its ability to support lifesaving research. This is proving to be an especially concerning situation for young researchers, as we are relying on them to continue the pipeline of new discoveries that will have an even greater impact on cancer mortality and morbidity. In addition, if sequestration is allowed to occur, the NIH would be forced to absorb another budget cut of 8 percent on Jan. 2, 2013, potentially resulting in the loss of $2.4 billion and the awarding of 2,300 fewer grants.
“We are now in a new era of personalized cancer medicine. There are more than 13.7 million cancer survivors in the United States alone because of the progress that has been made in the prevention, detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer,” said AACR President Frank McCormick, Ph.D., director of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and Steering Committee Chair for the AACR Cancer Progress Report 2012. “Any further reduction in funding for cancer research and biomedical science would result in a major setback in our ability to develop even more effective interventions and save lives from cancer.”
The report specifically calls on Congress to work in a constructive, bipartisan fashion to find a more balanced approach to address the federal deficit and prevent sequestration from occurring on Jan. 2, 2013. In addition, it urges Congress to designate NIH and NCI as a top national priority by providing annual budget increases at least comparable to the biomedical inflation rate.
Following the National Press Club event, AACR officers will meet with White House officials and members of Congress to deliver the content of the report. Copies of the report will be distributed to all members of the House and Senate, as well as to the numerous stakeholders who care about the devastating effects of cancer on global health.
To obtain an embargoed copy of the report or to register for the press conference, please contact Jeremy Moore at Jeremy.Moore@aacr.org.