For Immediate Release: July 30, 2009
Contact: Deborah J. Danuser
Jones Public Affairs
2010 Defense Appropriations
Includes $20 Million for Cancer Research
-Melanoma Research Foundation delighted at newly announced federal funding
for melanoma and other skin cancer-
HILLSBOROUGH, N.J.—The House Appropriations Committee recently announced that $20 million has been dedicated to the Peer-Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP) through the Fiscal Year 2010 Defense Appropriations Act. Melanoma and other skin cancers are listed as eligible for the funding, including pediatric brain tumors, genetic cancer, and blood cancer among others.
“We are thrilled that Congress and the Department of Defense have included melanoma in its medical research program,” said Dr. Lynn Schuchter, chief of hematology/oncology at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania and co-chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF). “Melanoma and other skin cancers continue to pose a long term threat to our service members and their families, many of which are deployed. This funding is a clear commitment to the seriousness of melanoma and an encouraging nod towards finding a cure.”
Melanoma is one of the fastest growing cancers in the United States, and nearly 69,000 Americans are expected to be diagnosed with the disease in 2009. It is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25- to 29-years old and the second most common cancer in adolescents and young adults 15- to 29-years old. More research is needed to understand the unique biology of the many different types of melanoma and to develop effective treatments. However, research has been underfunded and fewer scientists are conducting research into melanoma.
“Federal funding plays an enormous role in the path to a cure,” said Tim Turnham, executive director of the MRF. “The melanoma community desperately needs new therapies, especially for patients with advanced melanoma. Here we see an opportunity to make the scientific breakthroughs that are essential for the thousands of Americans that are diagnosed every year.”
Melanoma and other skin cancers were included in the PRCRP for the first time in the Fiscal Year 2009 budget, with $4 million dedicated to research. Pre-applications for research grants are currently being accepted through the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) office and prospective candidates should visit the Web site at http://cdmrp.org.
The MRF acts as an advocate for the melanoma community to raise the awareness of this disease and the need for a cure. It is active in Washington, D.C. working to raise and keep melanoma awareness a high priority for elected officials and to encourage their support of research funding. The MRF encourages the public to contact their congressional representative to urge support for melanoma research to ensure that this issue remains a priority.
The PRCRP is part of the larger CDMRP, which promotes innovative research while recognizing untapped opportunities, creating partnerships, and guarding the public trust. It was established within the U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command in 1993. Since, it has expanded from its focus on breast cancer to include a number of other diseases, including melanoma.
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