Funding for Strategic Initiatives Highlights Research Priorities
Final details about allocations under the Fiscal Year 2004 National Cancer Institute (NCI) budget have been completed, providing an important snapshot of some of the top research priorities for NCI and the cancer community over the next few years. Included among these details is how the five percent pool drawn from each NCI division's 2004 base budgets will be used. Speaking at last week's joint meeting of the NCI Board of Scientific Advisors and Board of Scientific Counselors, NCI Director Dr. Andrew C. von Eschenbach provided a breakdown of how that pool of funds would be redeployed.
As reported previously (NCI Cancer Bulletin, February 3), NCI received a slight increase in funding for the 2004 fiscal year. However, because of mandated federal salary increases, an increasing number of noncompeting grants, and assessments to support the NIH Roadmap Initiative and other centralized activities, NCI is effectively operating with $2.7 million less than the 2003 budget. As a result, NCI division directors were asked to reduce their base 2004 budgets by five percent to create a pool of dollars to fund new initiatives. Those funds yielded a pool of approximately $75 million. Read more
Cooperative Group Chairs Visit Bethesda
On March 17, the Clinical Trials Cooperative Group Chairs came to NCI to continue an ongoing dialogue about re-engineering the cancer clinical trials infrastructure to improve the publicly funded cancer clinical research system.
The cooperative groups have played an integral part in the many accomplishments of our cancer clinical trials infrastructure, but we all agree we must commit to a process of continuous improvement and must adapt to the challenge of the future of molecular oncology.
For almost a year, the Cooperative Group Chairs worked together under the aegis of the Coalition of National Cancer Cooperative Groups to develop recommendations to improve the nation's multicentered cancer clinical cooperative groups research system. Based on what the Chairs see as influencing the future of the system - unprecedented opportunities in cancer treatment and prevention; more complex clinical trials that incorporate molecular profiling, pharmacogenetics, and advanced imaging; regulatory challenges; and the existing clinical trial programs that could function more efficiently and effectively as an integrated, public system - they outlined three main categories for discussion: Read more