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LCA and Other Lung Cancer Organizations Send to NIH and NCI Requesting $110M for Lung Cancer Research

The following letter was sent to the Acting Director of National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Director of National Cancer Institute (NCI) regarding the increase in funding to NIH through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009:

February 24, 2009

Raynard S. Kington, MD, PhD

Acting Director

National Institutes of Health

Bldg. 1, Rm. 328

1 Center Dr.

MSC 0148

Bethesda, MD 20892-0148

John E. Niederhuber, M.D.

Director

National Cancer Institute

Bldg 31, Rm 11A48

31 Center Dr. MSC 2590

Bethesda, MD 20892

Dear Dr. Kington and Dr. Niederhuber,

President Obama and the Congress recognized the importance of medical research to our economy and public health by including $10.4B for the National Institute of Health in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) signed into law last week.

In addition, with the Continuing Resolution about to expire, Congress will take final action this week on FY 09 appropriations bills for certain agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services. The draft bills call for an increase of $938 million for NIH, for a total of $30.3 billion for FY 09, and an increase of $186 million in funding for NCI for a total of $4.968 billion in FY09

With this unprecedented injection of additional funding under the ARRA and with the added FY09 funding, we urge you set aside at least $100 million for a comprehensive, coordinated and long overdue effort to reduce lung cancer mortality. 

Lung cancer continues to take more lives each year than those caused by the next four most common cancers combined.  Indeed, only heart disease surpasses lung cancer in mortality in the United States. Despite the warnings in The Progress Review Group Report to NCI in 2001, lung cancer research continues to be funded far below its enormous public health impact.

When the NCI budget was doubled during the years 1997 through 2001, no proportionate increase was made in lung cancer research funding. In FY 08, according to NIH’s Estimates of Funding for Various Research, Condition and Disease Categories, only 6% of NIH’s entire budget covering all the institutes was allotted for lung cancer research and only 3% at NCI specifically.

In recent reports published in the Journal of NCI on the cost of cancer care under Medicare, the productivity costs of cancer, and the estimates and projections of the value of life lost from cancer death, lung cancer tops every chart.  

We urge you to utilize $100 million from the ARRA and the FY 09 appropriations for a comprehensive and coordinated lung cancer research and mortality reduction program.

Sincerely,

Laurie Fenton Ambrose                                                                                      

President & CEO

Lung Cancer Alliance

Tracy Sestili

President

Beverly Fund

Bonnie J. Addario

Founder & President

Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation

Tammy Coppedge

Brittany’s Battle

Jose Ramos

Executive Director

Gail P. Ramos Lung Cancer Foundation

Joe Gaeta

President

Joan Gaeta Lung Cancer Foundation

Susan Mantel

Executive Director

Joan’s Legacy: Uniting Against Lung Cancer

Dan Hart

Liz Martocci Lung Cancer Foundation

Cindy Langhorne

Program Director

Caring Ambassadors Lung Cancer Program

Susan Levin

President

Lung Cancer Circle of Hope

Lori Monroe

Co-Founder

Lung Cancer Foundation of America

Beth Ida Stern

Executive Director

LUNGevity

Regina Vidaver, Ph.D

Executive Director

National Lung Cancer Partnership

Andrea Stearn Ferris

Founder & Executive Director

Protect Your Lungs

Tom Labrecque

President

Thomas G. Labrecque Foundation