MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif., March 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is calling attention to the potential affects sequestration will have on medical research, and specifically pancreatic cancer research. The onset of sequestration could lead to significant and harmful cuts to the budget of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which will affect cancer research grants. According to some estimates, medical research supported by the NIH would be cut by an estimated $1.5 billion, including more than a $250 million reduction in cancer research funding in 2013 alone. In total, these cuts could lead to 1,380 fewer research grants being funded next year.
For the nation's deadliest cancers, such as pancreatic cancer, where the need for scientific advances is so great, the effects of sequestration could be significant. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, sequestration cuts will predominantly affect NIH funded research projects – the same projects that have previously yielded groundbreaking results, including the genetics of cancer and the production of treatment options for hundreds of conditions.
Julie Fleshman, president and chief executive officer of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network said, "Budget cuts to the National Institutes of Health will have a long-lasting and devastating impact on the progress of cancer research and we are deeply concerned about the impact on pancreatic cancer, which currently has a five year survival rate of just 6 percent. We cannot afford to stall the efforts underway to develop early detection methods and more effective treatment options that will lead to better outcomes for pancreatic cancer patients.""Congress must work together to find a common-sense solution that does not jeopardize millions of lives by drastically reducing cancer research funding. There must be a better, smarter way to address spending issues in the nation's capital than slashing medical research. It is time for Congress to come together to find those solutions. Patient's lives are depending on them," Fleshman concluded.