On Tuesday, the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chair, Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), announced the Subcommittee’s recommendation for a $25 million allocation to the Department of Defense’s Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP). This is the first time the Senate has slated funding for the PRCRP, which has been supported by the House in past years. The Senate recommendation prioritizes five cancers to be eligible for funding, including melanoma. In his statement today, Sen. Durbin noted the special burden melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer, places on members of the military.
We urge members of Congress to quickly adopt the Senate proposal. Investment in melanoma research will support the research community in building on recent research and treatment breakthroughs. Congressional funding through the PRCRP will also soften the blow of reductions in the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) research budget to progress in treating melanoma. The NIH’s budget was cut this year by 5.1 percent amounting to a reduction of $1.5 billion from its $31 billion total budget.
To ensure breakthrough research around melanoma treatments progresses, we will continue working with experts in the research community to ensure that newly allocated funds are being used to the best benefit for people with melanoma, with assets afforded to the most promising research initiatives.
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