NCI Budget Outlook for 2004
The National Cancer Institute's (NCI) funding has increased by 80 percent since 1998, while the budget for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has doubled. This historic resource growth permitted a re-energizing of the entire biomedical research enterprise in unprecedented ways. The unprecedented growth in biomedical research provides an opportunity for exponential progress. This has allowed the director of NCI to issue a challenge: eliminate the suffering and death due to cancer by 2015. But as NCI continues its operations into fiscal year 2004, it does so without a clear picture of what resources will be available.
Presently, NCI and all of NIH operate under a continuing resolution (CR) that expires January 31, 2004. Congress included appropriations for the Department of Health and Human Services in an omnibus spending bill, which the House approved. The Senate is expected to vote on it January 20, 2004. (See Legislative Update.) If the omnibus bill is not enacted, NCI may work under the CR further into 2004. Read more
Setting a New Path for Cancer Research
On December 23, 2003, the cancer research field marked the 32nd anniversary of the start of our Nation's war on cancer. On that date in 1971, President Nixon signed the National Cancer Act into law. We knew little at the time about the biology of cancer and had few tools to effectively prevent or treat the disease, but this law committed our will and resources to the goal of eliminating cancer and entrusted leadership of this effort to the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The age of molecular biology was dawning, enabling scientists to gain greater insights into the fundamental processes of both normal and cancerous cells. And the challenge to eliminate cancer inspired many of our Nation's best and brightest to devote their energy and talent to eliminating the disease. Over three decades we have made great progress.
The union of talent, scientific discovery, and advanced technology continues to expand our knowledge of the factors that increase cancer risk and of the processes within the cell that are disrupted in cancer's onset and progression. Our understanding of the molecular basis of cancer has led to more effective prevention strategies, the development of improved tests for early detection, more precise diagnostic methods, and more powerful treatment approaches. Read more