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President Obama’s Budget Request Affirms Commitment to Progress against Cancer

, by Douglas R. Lowy, M.D.

Then-Vice President Biden addresses the first meeting of the Cancer Moonshot Task Force.

Credit: White House / Pete Souza

Yesterday, the White House released the President’s fiscal year (FY) 2017 Budget Request, which includes $680 million of additional funding for NCI to support the cancer research initiative inspired by Vice President Biden.

The budget request affirms the administration’s commitment to cancer research and the realistic optimism in the cancer community about the opportunities for progress in many areas. This substantial proposal follows the $260.5 million increase in NCI funding that Congress appropriated this year.

As outlined by President Obama last week, a task force composed of leadership from various federal agencies has been assembled by the Vice President to marshal the federal investments in cancer research. I am honored to serve on this task force on behalf of NCI. The President is also creating a blue ribbon panel, reporting to NCI’s National Cancer Advisory Board, which will advise on the scientific opportunities to accelerate progress against cancer.

While these formal steps to engage the cancer community are being pursued, and as the initiative develops, we will also look to our advisory boards, the NCI-Designated Cancer Centers, our grantees, the cancer research advocacy community, patients, and caregivers for ideas, feedback, and guidance.

I will continue to update the cancer community on events related to the Vice President’s Initiative. We’ve also created a page on to provide up-to-date information on this important effort, including an option to sign up to receive updates by email.

I am grateful for the opportunity to lead the NCI during this exciting time for cancer research. We are seeing advances in technology and clinical care that are producing results that could not have been imagined even a decade ago. These advances are occurring because of the talent and dedication of the research community, together with the development of new interventions and the active participation of advocates, patients, and other key stakeholders.

While we do not know what next year’s budget will hold, we do know that the cancer community will strive to make the most of every opportunity put before us.

Douglas R. Lowy, M.D.
Acting Director, NCI

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