Photo Courtesy of Sen. Gillibrand’s Office
“This program has been at the forefront of breast cancer research and care since its inception at the DoD and the continued funding is essential to life-saving scientific advancements,” Sen. Gillibrand said.
By Forum Staff
The recently-passed government funding package authorized $150 million for the Department of Defense peer-reviewed Breast Cancer Research Program, enabling the program to continue making scientific breakthroughs in breast cancer prevention, detection, and treatment, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) announced Tuesday.
Earlier this year, Gillibrand led a bipartisan letter to the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee to maintain the level of funding for the program, because:
- “It is a demonstrated success: Ground-breaking discoveries that offer insights into the biology of breast cancer have come as a result of the program, including revolutionary work that led to the development of the innovative drug Herceptin,” Gillibrand wrote. “From new methods of extracting breast cancer cells at their earliest stages, to unprecedented research into gene/environment interaction and quality of life issues, the DOD BCRP leads the way in generating new approaches to breast cancer prevention, treatment, and detection. The Institute of Medicine, in two analyses of the program, overwhelmingly supports continued investment in the DOD BCRP, stating “the program fills a unique niche among public and private funding sources for cancer research. It is not duplicative of other programs and is a promising vehicle for forging new ideas and scientific breakthroughs in the nation’s fight against breast cancer.”
- “It is innovative and unique: The DOD BCRP has a unique grants structure that allows it to be more flexible and to fund innovative, high-risk, high-return research, enabling it to quickly respond to current scientific advances and to fill gaps by focusing on areas of research that are promising but otherwise underfunded.”
- “It is efficient: Approximately 90 percent of the appropriated funds go directly to competitive, peer-reviewed research grants awarded only on the basis of scientific merit.”
- “It is transparent and accountable to the public: This is evidenced by the inclusion of consumer advocates at both the peer and programmatic review levels. The consumer perspective helps the scientists understand how the research will affect the breast cancer community and allows for funding decisions based on the concerns and needs of patients and the medical community. Each researcher who receives funds from the program must present their results to the American people online and at public meetings called ‘Era of Hope.’ The transparency of the DOD BCRP allows scientists, consumers, and the American public to see the exceptional progress made in breast cancer research.”
- “Support for the Breast Cancer Research Program can help change the lives of millions of people fighting this devastating disease,” Gillibrand said Tuesday. “This program has been at the forefront of breast cancer research and care since its inception at the DoD and the continued funding is essential to life-saving scientific advancements.”
According to Gillibrand, breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in the United States, with nearly 1 in 8 women estimated to be diagnosed in their lifetime.