The final numbers are not in yet, but there is no doubt that Congress will fund the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at a considerably higher level than the $3.505 billion the Clinton administration asked for. That fiscal 2001 request was already nearly 6% above the actual 2000 budget. The House approved $3.793 billion and the Senate went one betterto $3.804 billion. At the end of July, a House and Senate conference committee agreed to a compromise budget number for all the NIH institutes. Those numbers were not available at press time but were planned for release by October. It is safe to assume that the NCI budget will be somewhere between the House and Senate number. The size of the increase, of course, is good news. But the House and Senate enumerated a number of specific cancer research areas they expected to get more attention.Those earmarks can sometimes cause problems between cancer advocacy groups. The House, for example, lists 18 separate areas it expects the NCI to get a move on, including esophageal and stomach cancers, endometrial and cervical cancers, lung cancer screening, and urologic cancers.