Chasing Away Childhood Cancer

Appropriations for the National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute

The Congressional request was made for the support of 33 billion dollars to go towards the National Institutes of Health, with $5.4 billion for the National Cancer Institute in the year 2016. This amount of money will help ensure that promising childhood cancer research will be rightfully funded. “Research funded by the NCI has played a role in every major advance related to cancer prevention, detection and treatment, as well as contributing to breakthroughs for many other diseases.” This is why any progress for childhood cancer is extremely dependent upon the NCI. Because childhood cancer survival is still questionable for many forms of pediatric cancer, it is necessary that the NCI gains more funding, for they also provide children cancer patients with “access to clinical trials and care at NIH-supported research hospitals.” In addition, private investment in childhood cancer is unfortunately limited, which only increases our need for NCI and the NIH. Why is federal funding so important to childhood cancer research you ask? First off, the NCI and NIH are responsible for almost the entirety of funding that supports pediatric cancer research. “NCI’s investment in childhood cancer research and the return on that investment is unparalleled.” Furthermore, the advancement in childhood cancer research has substantially increased in just the past 5 years, primarily because of the NCI. Recent cuts to NCI and NIH funding have not only significantly halted medical discoveries and advances, but have also delayed ongoing clinical trials, all of which could save a child’s life. Overall, “The Children’s Oncology Group, the leading clinical trial network in pediatric oncology and a critical provider of access to investigational new treatments for children with cancer, is a shining example of why a robust funding increase for NCI is needed.”