WASHINGTON--In an unusual budgetary maneuver, NCI director Richard Klausner, MD, has asked Congress to give the Institute an added $269.5 million in fiscal year 1998 to fund "extraordinary opportunities for new investments" in the battle against cancer.
WASHINGTON--In an unusual budgetary maneuver, NCI director RichardKlausner, MD, has asked Congress to give the Institute an added$269.5 million in fiscal year 1998 to fund "extraordinaryopportunities for new investments" in the battle againstcancer.
As the request of Congress, NCI prepared a budget estimate anda description of its research needs for fiscal years 1997 and1998. Dr. Klausner publicly released the 80-page document lastmonth at a talk to the D.C. Science Writers Association.
In fiscal 1996, which ends Sept. 30, the NCI's budget totals $2.251billion. The White House has asked Congress to give the institute$2.281 billion for fiscal 1997.
Dr. Klausner's budget proposal for fiscal 1998 requests $2.702billion. This includes $2.433 billion for what he calls a "maintenancebudget," aimed at keeping NCI activities at the same level,plus an additional $269.5 million for five "investment opportunities"in cancer genetics, preclinical cancer models, detection technologies,developmental diagnostics, and investigator-initiated research.
The report sets goals for each of the five targeted areas (seetable).
The five "opportunity" areas emerged over the last 6months from a series of meetings with scientists, educators, andcommunity leaders to discuss the state of cancer research, Dr.Klausner said. "They had to be things we could describe interms of specific milestones we can achieve and not promises wecan't keep," he added.
The NCI report states that these investment opportunities representfive important areas where funding is insufficient "to exploita particular research development." Dr. Klausner noted thatthe five areas were not opportunities until recently. "Forexample, we didn't know how to think about molecular diagnosisof cancer a few years ago. Now we do."
Copies of the report--The Nation's Investment in Cancer Research:A Budget Proposal for Fiscal Years 1997/98--are available by calling800-422-6237.