WASHINGTON, May 4, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a historic victory for prostate cancer research, the Prostate Cancer Research Program (PCRP) has received its first increase in funding in over a decade. Prostate cancer advocates saw a major advancement today as the Senate passed the 2017 Defense Appropriations Bill, which includes $90 million for the Department of Defense's (DoD) PCRP. The President is expected to sign the bill this week.
Rep. Peter King (R-NY), Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA), Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID), and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) spearheaded the effort to support PCRP funding, securing signatures from more than 100 House and Senate members on letters to the appropriations committee. The news comes as a result of the hard work of thousands of ZERO advocates who fought tirelessly on behalf of prostate cancer patients and survivors nationwide and those whom the disease may impact in the future.
"The funding increase means many new prostate cancer research projects this year focused on new treatments, and improving diagnosis methods," Jamie Bearse, CEO of ZERO - The End of Prostate Cancer, said. "The men and families fighting prostate cancer that storm Capitol Hill each year are an inspiration, and their efforts save the lives of countless others while curbing pain and suffering."
The Department of Defense's medical research programs are an epicenter for groundbreaking research in many medical fields, including prostate cancer. In choosing which promising ideas to fund, the DoD program hosts patients as part of a peer-review model. Specifically, the PCRP has awarded grants that have led to three new treatments for the disease in recent years and a genetic diagnosis profile to determine aggressive disease. This increase in funding brings us one step closer to much-needed research that will improve the treatment of prostate cancer and one day end suffering from the disease once and for all.
In addition to the $10 million increase for the PCRP, the bill provides billions in research funding to combat cancer and other diseases. This funding includes increases for the National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute, as well as new funding for the 21st Century Cures, specifically to support the Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot Initiative. The bill also maintains funding for the Centers for Disease Control's Cancer Control programs, including specific funding for prostate cancer prevention and early detection.
ZERO leads the way with a coalition of partners to increase and protect this critical funding. In March, more than 120 advocates from across the country attended the ZERO Prostate Cancer Summit and met with elected officials about increasing prostate cancer research for the 2018 fiscal year budget. Advocates are continuing to stay active in their communities and online through ZERO's #CountMeIn campaign, an effort to keep the momentum going for research funding and other key issues, such as patient access to care.