Cancer research group urges sequestration relief

The American Cancer Society’s advocacy arm said the budget deal reached Tuesday allows Congress to restore “some” cuts to cancer research and urged the body to prioritize the fight against the disease. 

It also called for additional funding for cancer prevention and early detection after rollbacks due to sequestration.  

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“Cancer patients, survivors and their families call on Congress to prioritize the fight to defeat cancer by restoring funding for cancer research and prevention programs,” the group’s President Christopher Hansen said.

The group said the sequester has totaled $1.5 billion in cuts to National Institutes of Health and $250 million to the National Cancer Institute.

Another medical advocacy group, United for Medical Research, said it supported the deal but called it a first step.  

“It is a small step forward in mending the damage done to medical research supported by NIH,” the group’s president Carrie Wolinetz said. 

The deal reached between Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) would replace $63 billion in sequestration cuts in the next two years. Murray said a portion of that would go to medical research. 

“Our deal puts jobs and economic growth first by rolling back sequestration's harmful cuts to education, and medical research, and infrastructure investments, and defense jobs for the next two years,” Murray said at a press conference Tuesday night announcing the deal. 

She said the deal brings stability after years of dysfunction, including to “the families who were praying for halted medical research programs to get back to work on a cure.”