With the passage of the Omnibus budget bill last week, mesothelioma research will now be eligible for $60 million, an increase of $10 million over the amount previously available.
This particular funding is available through the Department of Defense’s Peer-Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP), a pot of funding available annually to researchers studying any one of the eligible conditions. Mesothelioma is part of that list, and was added in 2008 as a direct result of advocacy by the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation. Since then, $12.4 million have been awarded to projects studying mesothelioma.
“For a cancer that is so chronically under-funded, this is a huge victory,” said the chief executive officer of the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, Melinda Kotzian.
“Despite mesothelioma research being only one of several fields of study funded by the PRCRP, mesothelioma researchers have a very strong record demonstrating their ability to be selected to receive the funding,” Ms. Kotzian added.
In addition to this increase in the DoD’s research funding, the final budget bill also includes $34.084 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an increase of $2 billion (6.2 percent) over fiscal year 2016. This amount includes $352 million in funding from the 21st Century Cures Act that was included in the FY 2017 Continuing Resolution that was passed in December. Included in the $34.085 billion, is $5.589 billion for the National Cancer Institute (NCI), an increase of nearly $476 million (9.1 percent) over FY16. This amount includes $300 million from 21st Century Cures specifically to support the Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot Initiative.