It’s Time to Reignite Our Nation’s Commitment to Cancer Research

Get Permission

Richard L. Schilsky, MD, FASCO

NIH Appropriations, FY 2003-2013

As 2014 rolls in, ASCO is calling for a renewed commitment to federal funding of cancer research. In a letter sent to House and Senate Appropriations leaders, ASCO urged Congress to use spending levels in the recently passed budget to set the highest possible funding level for the National Institutes of Health

The nation’s investment in cancer research has made it possible for people with cancer to live longer and with a better quality of life. Today, nearly 13 million Americans are considered cancer survivors. And yet this year cancer is expected to claim the lives of 580,000 Americans, making it the second leading cause of death in the United States.

In a Guest Commentary on ASCO Connection, ASCO Chief Medical Officer Richard L. Schilsky, MD, ­FASCO, noted that although ASCO’s recently issued report on Clinical Cancer Advances ( highlights dozens of research breakthroughs reported in 2013, due to the flat federal funding for biomedical research, progress against cancer is in real jeopardy of stalling just when the opportunities and need are greatest.1 The NIH budget has been flat for more than a decade and is 23% lower today than in 2003, when adjusted for inflation.

Scan the QR code at left to share this new full-color graphic with your social networks—and elected representatives—to help ASCO communicate how federal funding for biomedical research is vital to our nation’s health and our economy.

Contact your Members of Congress directly about the need for a greater national investment in cancer research through ASCO’s ACT Network at



1. Schilsky R: Funding cuts threaten future progress against cancer. ASCO Connection. Available at Accessed January 23, 2014.

© 2014. American Society of Clinical Oncology. All rights reserved.