In response to declining budgets for cancer research, including integral studies benefitting our understanding of malignant mesothelioma, the National Cancer Institute has released its Annual Plan & Budget Proposal for Fiscal Year 2021. The budget has requested $6.9 billion in funding, representing a significant boost in the amount of monies dedicated to finding cancer cures.
Researchers investigating mesothelioma and all other types of cancers are hopeful that the budget proposal will receive a positive response from Congress. Among those praising the progressive stance that the NCI is taking is the Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI), which issued a statement commending the plan and expressing appreciation to the NCI’s Acting Director, Douglas R. Lowy.
Lowy’s budget proposal pointed out that there has been a 50-percent increase in the number of grant applications submitted to the NCI in the last several years: many of these have involved research on protocols that would benefit mesothelioma patients. The proposal has indicated that it is necessary to have stable, predictable funding that supports the continued quest for knowledge about the safety and effectiveness of various treatment protocols, but that current funding levels have forced the NCI to deny funding to many promising studies.
Mesothelioma researchers and other cancer researchers who have submitted applications to the NCI for research funding experienced only a 12 percent success rate in 2018. This falls far short of the applications for other research projects submitted to the National Institutes of Health. Studies outside of the cancer arena were approved at a rate of 22 percent, and the NCI believes that this is largely a result of the current grant approval cutoff point. The new proposal would raise that payline to allow more funding to be approved.
While mesothelioma researchers and patients alike await a decision on the new budget, more and more people are being diagnosed with the rare and fatal form of cancer. If you are a victim of asbestos exposure who has been diagnosed with this challenging disease, we can help you get the compensation you need from those who are responsible. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.