News | Radiation Therapy | May 31, 2017

ASTRO Opposes White House Fiscal Year 2018 Budget for Cancer Research and Care

Association says budget request includes cut of at least 20 percent to the National Cancer Institute, unrealistic caps for research funding costs and $610 billion in cuts to Medicaid

ASTRO Opposes White House Fiscal Year 2018 Budget for Cancer Research and Care

May 31, 2017 — The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) released a statement last week strongly opposing the extensive cuts to cancer research and Medicaid funding in the Fiscal Year 2018 budget released by the White House. The association said these substantial reductions in support for medical research and care would destabilize the progress toward finding cures and negatively impact cancer patients across the country.

The request would slash budgets for the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) by upwards of 20 percent each. Federal investment in cancer research has played a role in every major innovation in the fight against cancer and a 23 percent decline in cancer deaths over the past two decades. The massive cuts proposed in the budget would place this progress and patients in serious jeopardy, according to ASTRO.

The NIH and NCI cuts would be achieved largely by capping overhead costs associated with federal research funding at 10 percent, in contrast to the average 50 to 60 percent that institutions currently receive to defray the administrative costs of scientific research. Implementing an unrealistic cap on these administrative dollars would result in fewer jobs for researchers, especially for early career scientists, and less support for clinical trials. More dangerously, it could cause entire research programs to shut down.

In addition to curtailing support for cancer research, the budget also proposes more than $600 billion in cuts to Medicaid that would limit patient access to health coverage and care. Multiple studies have demonstrated a link between inadequate health insurance and delayed cancer diagnosis and treatment, ultimately resulting in higher mortality rates. New limits on coverage for cancer patients will restrict their access to the treatments they need and deserve, the association said. Inadequate coverage also leads to higher costs that are felt throughout the economy.

In March, ASTRO joined cancer research advocates in opposing these cuts in the President’s draft budget proposal. Now that these proposed cuts have come to fruition in the official budget request, ASTRO strongly encourages Congress to support cancer patients nationwide by rejecting the cuts and pursuing alternatives that preserve the viability of cancer research and care.

For more information:

Related Content

California Protons Cancer Therapy Center Begins Breast Cancer Study Enrollment
News | Proton Therapy | April 25, 2019
California Protons Cancer Therapy Center announced two major efforts representing significant steps forward in breast...
Philips Unveils IntelliSpace Radiation Oncology at ESTRO 2019
News | Oncology Information Management Systems (OIMS) | April 25, 2019
Philips announced IntelliSpace Radiation Oncology, an intelligent patient management solution to manage complexity,...
ITN Wins Jesse H. Neal Award for Best Technical Content
News | Radiology Business | April 24, 2019
April 24, 2019 — Imaging Technology News (ITN) was recently named the 2019 Jesse H.
Accuray Launches Synchrony Motion Tracking and Correction Technology for Radixact System
Technology | Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) | April 24, 2019
Accuray announced the launch of its Synchrony motion tracking and correction technology to be used with the Radixact...
New Study Redefines Therapeutic Dose Guidelines for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
News | Lung Cancer | April 23, 2019
Non-small cell lung cancer is a common cancer for both men and women. Many people who are diagnosed with this type of...
Medicare Trustees Report Hospital Insurance Trust Fund Will Deplete in Seven Years
News | Radiology Business | April 22, 2019
The Medicare Hospital Insurance (HI) Trust Fund, which funds Medicare Part A, will only be able to pay full benefits...
Comparison of state Medicaid fees for radiation oncology services for breast cancer and nonradiation oncology services per the Kaiser Family Foundation Index

Fig. 1: Comparison of state Medicaid fees for radiation oncology services for breast cancer and nonradiation oncology services per the Kaiser Family Foundation Index. (Agarwal et al, Red Journal, 2019) Credit: Elsevier

News | Radiation Therapy | April 22, 2019
April 22, 2019 — A new study finds wide state
Stereotactic Radiosurgery Effective for Pediatric Arteriovenous Malformation Patients
News | Radiation Therapy | April 19, 2019
Ching-Jen Chen, M.D., of the neurosurgery department at the University of Virginia (UVA) Health System, was the winner...
Surgically Guided Brachytherapy Improves Outcomes for Intracranial Neoplasms
News | Brachytherapy Systems | April 18, 2019
Peter Nakaji, M.D., FAANS, general practice neurosurgeon at Barrow Neurological Institute, presented new research on...
iCAD Appoints Stacey Stevens as President
News | Radiology Business | April 16, 2019
iCAD Inc. recently announced that Stacey Stevens has been named president. As president, Stevens will have expanded...