Federal budget proposal would slow cancer research

Cuts would impact future cancer treatments

Federal budget proposal would slow...

MADISON, Wis. - The budget proposed by the Trump administration would cut funding for federal agencies supporting cancer research.

The proposed budget would reduce the budget of National Cancer Institute by 19 percent, while cutting funding for the National Institutes of Health by 18 percent.

“It is devastating. This is a huge time for progress to be taking place,” said Dr. Doug McNeel, a medical oncologist and researcher at UW’s Carbone Cancer Center.

McNeel is working on a clinical trial of a vaccine for prostate cancer patients.

“Early results are quite encouraging, so we think this is a huge direction for the future,” McNeel said.

While research institutions, such as the Carbone Cancer Center, do get funding from grants and donations, much of their work is reliant on federal support.

“We’re really dependent upon this source of funding to propel good quality of science, also to teach the next generation of investigators, and we’re seeing students that are demoralized and are just not seeing what their future looks like,” McNeel said.

The cutting of federal funds would not end cancer research, but it would slow the work and testing of treatments.

“Treatments in the future won’t be as great as they could be because of loss of funding now.  We can’t make the progress we could otherwise make,” McNeel said.

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