Thursday, April 13, 2017
The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) has signed on to a follow-up letter to the United States Congress and Senate in opposition to the Administration's budget proposal which calls for a major reduction in funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Read the latest letter.
Approximately 80 percent of NIH funding is used to conduct extramural research. Therefore, the proposal would have a significant negative impact on research being conducted across our country by biomedical research centers, universities, medical schools, hospitals and other institutions.
An additional media-reported proposed Fiscal Year 17 Reductions Package calls for eliminating $50 million in new Institutional Development Award (IDeA) grant funding, which would have a devastating effect on broadening the geographic distribution of NIH funding for biomedical research. It also proposes decreasing NIH-funded research grants by $1.12 billion, further impacting already diminished funds.
This letter reiterates the need for appropriate funding in cancer research, noting, "NIH is currently able to invest in fewer than one in five research grant project applications deemed worthy of funding..." As the largest member-driven organization dedicated to cancer immunotherapy, and a strong financial supporter of young researchers through the Forward Fund, SITC understands the proposed cuts would disincentivise young investigators to remain in the field of biomedical research.
SITC is committed to collaboration, as stated to legislators in this letter, "[W]e look forward to continuing our work with Members of Congress to complete action on the fiscal year 2017 appropriations bill, which includes a $2 billion increase for NIH in fiscal year 2017. We also support continued funding for the 21st Century Cures Act and the Cancer Moonshot initiative." In this spirit, SITC members are encouraged to contact their legislators to voice concerns about how these cuts could impact their research.
The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) is the world’s leading member-driven organization specifically dedicated to improving cancer patient outcomes by advancing the science and application of cancer immunotherapy. Established in 1984, SITC, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, serves scientists, clinicians, academicians, patients, patient advocates, government representatives and industry leaders from around the world. Through educational programs that foster scientific exchange and collaboration, SITC aims to one day make the word “cure” a reality for cancer patients everywhere.