February 18, 2016 — The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) commended the proposed investment in cancer-related research announced in the Fiscal Year 2017 Budget released last week by the White House. ASTRO, whose members include nearly all practicing radiation oncologists in the United States, further encouraged policymakers to increase levels of sustained financial support for research on cancer treatment, detection and prevention as the Cancer Moonshot Initiative matures.
The President’s FY2017 budget includes requests for $5.9 billion to support biomedical research at the National Cancer Institute, an increase of $680 million (13 percent) from FY2016 levels, as well as $1 billion to accelerate progress in cancer treatment and detection through the Cancer Moonshot Initiative.
ASTRO sent a letter to Vice President Joe Biden articulating the multiple reasons it supports the moonshot effort, including a growing need to develop and employ radiation in combination with other therapies for cancer treatment; opportunities to leverage advances in “big data” analytics; and a need to increase access to clinical trials and the latest cancer research.
“Never before have clinicians been able to induce remission in those suffering from cancer like they have today through the use of radiation therapy in combination with other treatment modalities,” wrote ASTRO chair Bruce D. Minsky, M.D., FASTRO, in the letter. “Now is the time for siloed fields to coalesce and synergize to drive progress in leaps rather than in small increments. … To do this, the funding structure must reflect the reality that the most successful treatment will not be a single modality but rather a combination that includes radiation therapy, chemotherapy and surgery.”
For more information: www.astro.org