Today, the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense held a public witness hearing about funding needs for the fiscal year 2011 defense appropriations bill. C3′s President, Carlea Bauman, testified at the hearing about the urgent need for more funding for colorectal cancer research.
Ms. Bauman thanked the Subcommittee members for including $15 million for the Department of Defense (DoD)’s Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP) in the fiscal year 2010 bill and urged them to increase the level of funding for the PRCRP to $50 million in fiscal year 2011.
C3 is making the request for funding along with other advocacy groups representing the eight research areas in the PRCRP. The program, funded through the DoD’s Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) supports high-quality cancer research, concentrating its resources on mechanisms which complement rather than duplicate the research approaches of the major funders of medical research in the United States.
The PRCRP also represents a unique partnership among the public, Congress, and the military. Congress has required the DoD to ensure that the research funded through the program has relevance to service members and their families. The research can help service members exposed to toxins and decrease the more than $1 billion that the DoD spends on cancer care.
Although the cancers included in this program are diverse, the research on these disease types is often synergistic. Advances or progress related to one cancer fuels the research on the other cancers in this program, and treatments initially approved for one cancer are routinely found to be effective in others.
In her testimony, Ms. Bauman advised the Subcommittee that areas of focus for colorectal cancer research in the PRCRP could be:
- An inexpensive, non-invasive, accurate screening test;
- Predictive markers to identify who will benefit from which treatments; and
- Accurate diagnostics that can evaluate the markers.
Discoveries resulting from investment in PRCRP research have the potential to transform the investigation of cancer, through the development of new prevention strategies and therapies, and someday, cures. A $50 million investment will greatly enhance and accelerate such breakthroughs. It is an opportunity to advance the best research to eradicate diseases and support the warfighter for the benefit of the American public.