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Our Goal: Increase Federal Funding

To increase the survival rate and outcomes for patients, we need more innovative research to develop early detection tools and better treatment options. Since approximately 80 percent of all pancreatic cancer research funding comes from the federal government, we need the full support of Congress. And remember, Congress works for YOU, their constituents.

Our Legislative Priorities

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network urges the 116th Congress to:

  • Ensure lifesaving medical research continues by funding the National Institutes of Health (NIH) at $41.6 billion for FY 2020, including $6.5 billion for the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
  • Make the nation’s deadliest cancer a priority by creating a dedicated pancreatic cancer research program within the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program.
  • Monitor and support the implementation of the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act – making certain the updates to Congress include critical next steps and recommendations to advance the field of pancreatic cancer research.
  • Join the Congressional Caucus on the Deadliest Cancers to support and raise awareness about the nation’s deadliest cancers.

Our Call to Action

Ask Congress to create a dedicated research program at the DoD.

There is progress being made. But with a five-year survival rate of just 9 percent, we don’t have a moment to waste. We know that a robust federal research program with additional resources will lead to improved patient outcomes.

We need a new line of defense – a dedicated pancreatic cancer research program at the DoD. You have the power to help make this happen.

Contact Congress today!

To learn more, check out our fact sheet.

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You speak. Congress listens. Progress happens. You are the reason Congress has increased funding for the NIH and the DoD’s Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) the last four years. But we need to do more – now!

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Federal Research Funding Achievements

Our advocates asked, and Congress delivered. Take a look at these wins:

  1. National Cancer Institute (NCI) funding was $17.3 million annually at the time of our founding.

  2. Dr. Randy Pausch testifies in the House Appropriations Subcommittee on L-HHS about the need for increased funding for pancreatic cancer research.


    More than 4,700 advocates send over 18,000 messages to Congress asking for increased funding for research. The result…while most other governmental agencies’ funding is cut in FY08, funding for the NCI increases. The NCI also increases the amount of funding for pancreatic cancer research from $73 million to $87 million.

  3. The Deadliest Cancers Coalition makes its debut under our leadership and secures its first win – the ALERT Act is introduced in the U.S. Senate with language specifically recognizing “high mortality cancers” as a research area that needs increased federal focus. While the bill does not ultimately become law, it helps set the stage for the eventual passage of the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act.


    Approximately 11,240 advocates send 26,150 messages to Congress and secure an additional $70 million for the NCI as part of the FY09 Supplemental funding bill.

  4. The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s Director of Government Affairs provides an oral testimony to the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health about the importance of creating a new federal research focus on deadly cancers.


    Our grassroots advocates again work tirelessly and thanks to their efforts, we secure an additional $136 million for the NCI as part of the FY10 L-HHS Appropriations bill, which is an increase of 2.75 percent. This increase is significant given that most federal programs are cut.


    The NCI increases funding for the pancreatic cancer research portfolio by 2 percent.

  5. Pancreatic cancer is included for the first time in the Department of Defense’s Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP), which funds high-risk, high-reward research projects. In FY11, $16 million is appropriated, which includes 12 pancreatic cancer research grants for a total of $3.7 million.

  6. The Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act passes, requiring the NCI to develop a scientific framework for pancreatic and other deadly cancers. Of the 10,439 bills introduced in the 112th Congress, only 193 become law – this is less than 2 percent.


    As a direct result of this bill, the NCI has launched a critical research program on RAS as well a number of other research grant opportunities.


    In FY12, $12.8 million is appropriated for PRCRP, which includes pancreatic cancer, for a total of $1.5 million in research grants.

  7. NCI funding for pancreatic cancer research reaches more than $101 million – a 500 percent increase since our efforts began in 1999.


    In FY13, $15 million (subject to sequestration) is appropriated for the PRCRP, which includes three pancreatic cancer grants for a total of $1.3 million.

  8. Congress passes the highest NIH funding increase in 10 years.


    Congress agrees to our ask to provide $50 million for the PRCRP and will once again include pancreatic cancer as one of the 13 types of cancer eligible for funding.

  9. President Obama announces the “Cancer Moonshot” to speed progress in developing new treatments and tools for all cancers. We send the White House a letter encouraging them to use this initiative to focus on recalcitrant cancers.

  10. While we’re grateful to Congress for the historic funding increases they provided for the NIH and NCI in FY16, we are deeply concerned that the NIH budget is still nearly 18 percent below its FY03 level. We urge Congress to support the goals of the Cancer Moonshot so that we can capitalize on promising new initiatives and maintain momentum in ongoing pancreatic cancer research.

  11. For the fourth year in a row, Congress worked in a bipartisan manner to increase medical research funding, passing an FY19 package that included a $2 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a $179.1 million increase for the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and a $10 million increase for the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Peer-Reviewed Cancer Research Program, where pancreatic cancer was once again included as a disease eligible for funding.

  12. We are grateful to Congress for the historic funding increases they have provided over the past several years. But with the five-year survival rate remaining at 9% for 2019, we must do more. We urge Congress to continue to fund the NCI and create a dedicated research program at the DoD, so we can capitalize on promising new initiatives and maintain momentum in ongoing pancreatic cancer research.

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