Today, Congress released a series of spending bills aimed to finalize FY2024 funding that includes a $300 million increase in funding for the National Health Institute (NIH) base budget, including a $120 million increase in discretionary funding for the National Cancer Institute (NCI), a modest $500,000 increase for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cancer screening and prevention programs and maintains the current funding level for the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) at $1.5 billion. At NIH, the bill also includes a first-time appropriation of $12.5 million in dedicated funding for the development of palliative care research at NIH and a new $6 million initiative for Improving Native American Cancer Outcomes. Within the Department of Defense (DoD), the bill includes a $110 million for the Prostate Cancer Research Program.

Increased investment in the fight against cancer year over year has been key to reducing the nation’s cancer mortality rate since 1991 with the discovery of more effective treatments and screenings. A report released by the American Cancer Society (ACS) in January reiterated the need for significant increases in cancer research funding to address the slight increase in cancer diagnoses expected this year.

The following is a statement from American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) CEO, Dr. Karen E. Knudsen in reaction:

“We appreciate Congress’ continued support in prioritizing vital funding for cancer research in the face of significant budget constraints and are extremely grateful for new funding initiatives at NIH to support palliative care and improve cancer outcomes for Native Americans. Unfortunately, the fiscal constraints coupled with the end of mandatory funding for Cancer Moonshot places overall funding levels behind last year and well below necessary levels to continue pace in progress in the fight against cancer.


“With cancer incidence rates estimated to hit an all-time high this year, failure to build on our nation’s proven investment at a pivotal point in the fight against cancer puts future cancer discovery and support necessary to ensure the next generation of scientists at risk. It will take year-over-year continued and significant investment if we’re going to end cancer as we know it, for everyone.


“We can’t afford to lose momentum. We call on Congress to advance an overall funding agenda that allows for robust, sustained increases in funding for NIH, NCI and CDC to ensure the strong and meaningful fiscal growth necessary to truly accelerate tomorrow’s cures and lead us to a future where the cancer burden is significantly reduced for everyone.”

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is pleased to see President Biden’s continued focus on and dedication to achieving the goal of the Cancer Moonshot to end cancer as we know it, for everyone.

This press release was originally published March 21, 2024, by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. It is republished with permission.