Washington, D.C. (September 26, 2018) – The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) commends the U.S. House of Representatives for approving a funding package today that will provide much-needed additional resources for federal cancer research efforts. The U.S. Senate passed this funding agreement with strong bipartisan support last week. The legislation now heads to the White House to be signed into law.
“We are in a time of tremendous research progress for cancer patients and survivors. Thanks to sustained investments in research, 18 therapies were approved last year to treat patients with blood cancers and, to date, 13 more have been approved in 2018,” said Louis J. DeGennaro, Ph.D., LLS president and CEO. “Despite these advances, more than one-third of blood cancer patients still do not survive five years after their diagnosis. As an organization that has invested more than $1.2 billion in cancer research, LLS knows just how important robust federal investments in research are in the fight against cancer. I applaud Congress for recognizing the importance of these investments and continuing to make cancer research a federal priority.”
The federal funding bill passed by the House today provides a $2 billion funding increase for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This increase marks the fourth consecutive year of multi-billion dollar budget increases for NIH, growing its budget by nearly 30% over this time period. These new resources will allow the National Cancer Institute to grow the Cancer Moonshot initiative, implement the Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access, and Research (STAR) Act, which was signed into law in June, and make other strategic investments in new cancer research.
In addition to the critical funding increase provided to NIH, Congress also reaffirmed its support for blood cancer research at the Department of Defense (DoD) in this spending package. For the second year in a row, Congress listed “blood cancers” as a priority research focus for the Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program, the primary program supporting service-connected blood cancer research at DoD. Congress also increased the program’s budget by $10 million dollars, providing a 50% funding increase for the program over just two years.
“The importance of these research investments cannot be overstated. Robust federal support for research has initiated some of the most important advancements in cancer care,” said DeGennaro. “By investing in innovative research, federal funding helps us more quickly achieve breakthroughs for patients. Building on the strong bipartisan support this agreement garnered from Congress, the blood cancer community looks forward to seeing this funding package signed into law.”
About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society® (LLS) is the world's largest voluntary health agency dedicated to fighting blood cancer. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world, provides free information and support services, and is the voice for all blood cancer patients seeking access to quality, affordable, coordinated care.
Founded in 1949 and headquartered in Rye Brook, NY, LLS has chapters throughout the United States and Canada. To learn more, visit www.LLS.org. Patients should contact the Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET.