DearColleague.us

Letter

Sending Office: Honorable James R. Langevin
Sent By:
Katherine.Lee@mail.house.gov

***Deadline: March 16th at Noon***

Dear Colleague,

We hope you will join us in sending the below letter to the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee to request that funding for the Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP) be increased to $130 million and that brain cancer and pediatric brain tumors remain
eligible categories for funding.

Across the country, approximately 86,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with a primary brain tumor each year, including more than 3,720 children, and few treatments have been able to significantly extend survival rates for either pediatric or
adult patients. Continued funding through the PRCRP can have a profound and positive effect on the development of strategies for screening and early detection, new treatments, and ultimately potential cures for a population with no current standard of care
and dismal survival rates. An overall increase in PRCRP funding will maintain momentum in the research community and continue supporting efforts to improve the health and welfare of service members, their families, and others coping with this devastating disease.

For more information, or to sign on to this letter, please contact Katherine Lee (Langevin) at
Katherine.Lee@mail.house.gov, Thomas Rice (McCaul) at
Thomas.Rice@mail.house.gov, or Bridget Hogan (Quigley) at
Bridget.Hogan@mail.house.gov.

Sincerely,

James R. Langevin      Michael T. McCaul       Mike Quigley

Member of Congress     Member of Congress      Member of Congress

————————————————————————————————–
 

The Honorable Peter Visclosky                                   The Honorable Kenneth Calvert

Chairman                                                                      Ranking Member

House Appropriations Committee                                House Appropriations Committee

Subcommittee on Defense                                            Subcommittee on Defense

Washington, DC 20515                                                Washington, DC 20515

 

Dear Chairman Visclosky and Ranking Member Calvert:

Since 2009, the Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP), part of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program administered by the Department of Defense, has supported innovative research in cancers specifically designated by Congress as relevant
to military service members and their families. As your Committee deliberates its plans for the FY 2021 PRCRP, we request that funding be increased to $130M and that brain cancer and pediatric brain tumors remain eligible categories for funding.

As brain cancer and pediatric brain tumors continue to impact thousands of Americans, research funding is critically needed to develop a cure and deliver effective treatments. Across the country, approximately 86,970 people in the United States are diagnosed
with a primary brain tumor each year, including more than 3,720 children, and few treatments have been able to significantly extend survival rates for either pediatric or adult patients. Glioblastoma multiforme, the most common form of primary malignant brain
tumors, has a five-year relative survival rate of only 5.6%. Increasing research opportunities for brain cancer, in both adults and our pediatric population, will directly benefit those serving in the U.S. military and their families, as well as all Americans
who must cope with this devastating disease.

Despite recent advances in research due to funding provided by the PRCRP, malignant brain tumors continue to be a leading cause of cancer-related deaths in children aged 0 to 14 and are among the most common cancer types in 15 to 39 year olds. This is especially
significant for our military given that 90 percent of active duty service members fall below the age of 40.

The connection to brain tumors and service members was made even clearer in a 2014 report by the PRCRP to Congress, linking brain cancer with exposure to ionizing radiation during military service. The same report also cites a study demonstrating that “children
of men in the Air Force had a higher incidence of tumors of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and lymphatic system.”

Continued funding through the PRCRP can have a profound and positive effect on the development of new treatments, and ultimately potential cures, for a population with no current standard of care and dismal survival rates. At cancer centers nationwide, program
funds have already supported studies that have led to prerequisites for clinical research, such as pre-clinical drug testing and better understanding of key tumor mutations.

While Congress faces many difficult funding decisions in the FY2021 appropriations process, continuing to list “brain cancer” and “pediatric brain tumors” in the PRCRP ensures that all brain cancer researchers can continue to compete for grants. While this
request doesn’t guarantee funding for this type of research, being included in this program is a crucial step to continue this valuable, life-saving work.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.
 

Respectfully,

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Appropriations, Armed Services, Family Issues, HealthCare, Veterans

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