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NCI Releases Budget Proposal for Fiscal Year 2017

, by Douglas R. Lowy, M.D.

Yesterday, I was proud to submit the NCI Annual Plan and Budget Proposal for Fiscal Year 2017 to President Barack Obama. I believe that the “Bypass Budget,” as it has come to be known, is particularly important to cancer research this year for two reasons.

First, this plan balances the realities of the federal budget environment with the critical needs of the biomedical enterprise. Cancer research has faced years of flat or declining budgets, resulting in good ideas being left on the table and too many talented researchers concerned about being able to remain in the field.

To address this difficult situation, we are requesting a funding increase of 7 percent over our fiscal year (FY) 2016 funding allocation. Although the amount may be less than previous requests, our vision for progress is no less aspirational. In addition to this increase, we are asking Congress to consider annual increases of 7 percent over the next 10 years, recognizing that it is through sustained commitment that we will make the most progress.

Second, this budget proposal reflects the years of effort by basic, clinical, and translational researchers that now afford us the real opportunity to transform our ability to prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer. I believe that this opportunity is the direct result of the scientific community working together in ways that encourage diverse scientific perspectives. Much of our progress comes when we look at what others have looked at and see what no one else has seen. This gives us insight that hasn’t been there before. To that end, this year we are asking the cancer community to engage in a series of interactive virtual sessions over the next 3 months about the opportunities before us and the promise they hold for the American public.

Over the next several months, we will also be publishing a series of posts on the Cancer Currents blog in which NCI scientific leaders will discuss the research areas highlighted in the Annual Plan and Budget Proposal—areas in which we believe additional resources can lead to dramatic gains in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. (See the full schedule below.) We hope you will take the time to read these posts and give us your comments and ideas.

The cancer research community should be proud of this proposal because it captures the tremendous progress that we have made together and the even greater promise that we believe can be delivered upon with a combination of hard work, ingenuity, and sustained investment.

The cancer community benefits from special authorities granted by the National Cancer Act of 1971, enabling NCI to submit this budget proposal directly to the President. As a community, we must not squander our opportunity to articulate key cancer research priorities and initiatives directly to the President, especially during the period when the President is formulating his FY 2017 budget proposal for submission to Congress.

NCI FY 2017 Annual Plan & Budget Proposal Blog Series

September 24: Cancer Trends: Influencing Care and Research Priorities

October 8: Progress against Cancer: The Role of Basic Science

October 22: Bringing Cancer Research to the Public: NCI’s Networks and Programs

November 5: A Holistic Approach to Reducing Cancer Health Disparities

November 19: Precision Medicine Part I: Understanding Precision Medicine

December 10: Precision Medicine Part II: Clinical Trials for Adults and Children

January 13: Cancer Prevention: The Best Defense

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