The Deadliest Cancers Coalition, of which AGA is a member, held its annual meeting on Jan. 28 in Washington. The featured speaker at the meeting was Ned Sharpless, MD, director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Dr. Sharpless noted that recent increases in NIH funding have led to a rise in NCI R01 awards by 10 percent since 2009. The NCI budget has increased from $4.9 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2015 to $5.7 billion in FY 2019. Dr. Sharpless also noted that NCI will be experimenting with a new award, the R37, which will be a seven-year grant. The initial award will be for five years and the investigator can apply for a two-year extension. Dr. Sharpless noted that NCI hopes the new award will help sustain momentum of promising new discoveries.
During discussion of its legislative priorities for 2019, the coalition agreed to support funding for NIH in FY 2020 at $41.58 billion, 6.3 percent increase. AGA is strongly supportive of the coalition’s recommendation.