The House Appropriations Subcommittee for Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education has approved a spending bill for fiscal year FY 2017 that includes an increase of $1.25 billion in NIH funding (to a level of $33.3 billion). That total includes $5.338 billion for the National Cancer Institute, or $154 million above the FY 2016 level. These increases are smaller than those approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee. The full House Appropriations Committee is scheduled to consider the bill on Wednesday, July 13th.
As part of the Alliance for Childhood Cancer, the Children’s Cause supported funding the NIH at $34.5 billion and $5.9 billion for the National Cancer Institute (NCI). In addition, as part of the Alliance for Childhood Cancer, the Children’s Cause sought new Committee report language around exploring new interventions such as immunotherapy; the report encouraged the NCI to further explore new interventions as a promising new treatment strategy for children with cancer.
The spending bill under review by the House Appropriations Committee includes the following specifics of interest to the childhood cancer community:
- $300 million for the Precision Medicine Initiative
- $511.5 million for Clinical and Translational Sciences Awards
- $165 million to support National Children's Study
- $12.6 million for the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Initiative
It is imperative that the NIH and the NCI continue to work for new treatments and, ultimately, a cure for childhood cancer. While we recognize that Congress faces difficult budget decisions, we also believe that Congress must further prioritize cancer research. Adequate funding is needed to make progress to treat children cancer patients and support their families.