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Pancreatic Cancer Action Network Legislative Priorities for 2018

Federal research funding for pancreatic cancer is critical to our Vision of Progress to double pancreatic cancer survival by 2020. This year, more than 55,000 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer – the deadliest major cancer with a 5-year survival rate of just 9 percent. The fact that the disease has surpassed breast cancer to become the third leading cause of cancer-related death and is expected to become the second by 2020 underscores the urgency of ensuring that the down payment Congress made on NIH and NCI funding is continued.

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network calls on the 115th Congress and the administration to Wage Hope against pancreatic cancer by:

1. Supporting $36.2 billion for NIH in FY18, including $6 billion for the NCI and funding provided from the 21st Century Cures Act.

The pancreatic cancer research community desperately needs increased federal investment to accelerate the research necessary to change the dire statistics. Approximately 80 percent of all pancreatic cancer research funding comes from the federal government, and the NCI is the largest federal source of funding. Therefore, the NCI is a critical resource. We cannot have success in diseases like pancreatic cancer without putting the NIH and NCI on a path to robust, sustained growth.

We applaud Congress for the historic NIH and NCI funding increases in FY2016 and FY2017. However, even with these increases, the NIH budget is still significantly below its FY2003 level, when accounting for inflation.

Furthermore, it will be difficult to leverage the opportunities that come out of the scientific framework developed as a result of the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act without continuing the momentum Congress created in FY2016 and FY2017.

Read the following letters that PanCAN and/or our coalition partners have sent to Congress on this issue:

2. Continuing to include pancreatic cancer in the Department of Defense’s Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP) and provide a funding increase for the program above the FY2017 level.

We applaud Congress for increasing funding for the Department of Defense’s Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP) in FY2017 from $50 million to $60 million, and for continuing to include pancreatic cancer in the list of cancers that are eligible for funding through the program. This year, we ask that Congress continue to include pancreatic cancer in the DoD’s PRCRP and once again provide a funding increase so that more high-risk, high-reward research projects can be funded.

Read the following letters that PanCAN and/or our coalition partners have sent to Congress on this issue:

3. Supporting a strong federal commitment to those suffering from the deadliest cancers – defined by the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act of 2012 as cancers with five-year survival rates below 50 percent – by joining the Congressional Caucus on the Deadliest Cancers, and by ensuring that there are no lapses or reductions in health coverage for this critical population.

Our nation’s deadliest cancers account for nearly 50 percent of all cancer-related deaths. They are the cancers we’ve made the least amount of progress on. We therefore ask that Congress focus attention on these cancers and join the bicameral Congressional Caucus on the Deadliest Cancers. We also ask that Congress ensures that there are no reductions in the assurances of health care that are currently in place because of the Affordable Care Act. Pancreatic cancer patients and others diagnosed with one of the deadliest cancers must focus all of their attention on identifying and accessing their best treatment options. We should not ask that our nation’s sickest cancer patients be forced to navigate an even more complicated health insurance landscape when they are in their hour of greatest need.

Read the following letters that PanCAN and/or our coalition partners have sent to Congress and/or the Administration on this issue:

4. Continuing to monitor the implementation of the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act – legislation that is opening new avenues of NCI-supported research for pancreatic cancer.

Read the following letters that PanCAN and/or our coalition partners have sent to Congress and/or the Administration on this issue:

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