By NCI director Norman E. Sharpless, MD
As we recognize World Cancer Research Day today, which aims to raise public awareness of the importance of cancer research, it’s fitting that NCI is releasing its Fiscal Year 2020 Annual Plan and Budget Proposal on this same day.
The plan, which represents our best professional judgement on the optimum funding needed to make the most rapid progress against cancer, is prepared every year for the President and Congress to inform congressional budget planning and priority setting.
I encourage you to take a look at the plan—the first during my term as NCI director—to learn more about key scientific areas of opportunity where additional support could fuel progress and improve the outlook for people with cancer and those at increased risk.
The plan also highlights the promising results of the nation’s investment in biomedical research. Of special interest are the stories of impact about several patients, our most important partners in cancer research, and two researchers whose efforts are having a tremendous impact.
This is, without a doubt, a time of great hope in cancer research. It’s an honor to be part of a cancer research community whose commitment and painstaking efforts have led to groundbreaking discoveries that have resulted in steadily declining rates for most cancers and better options for more effective, less toxic therapies.
Nonetheless, our successes and optimism are paired with many challenges. Clearly, there are still too many cancers that we don’t understand well enough to improve outcomes. And for some cancers for which we do have effective therapies, the side effects can be intolerable, the costs are too high for many patients, or the availability is limited.
The annual plan presents our vision to tackle these and other challenges to accelerate progress in cancer research and fulfill NCI’s mission to help all people live longer, healthier lives.
This article was originally published on the National Cancer Institute website on September 24, 2018.