This week, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) announced its budget proposal for the 2024 fiscal year: nearly $10 billion.
The plan focuses on investigator-initiated cancer research and the expansion and modernization of cancer clinical trials. The NCI says it will “capitalize on important scientific opportunities” by awarding more grants for cancer clinical research, including research involving multicancer detection tests, cell therapy to treat cancer, “undruggable” cancer targets, and persistent poverty and cancer. The budget also expands NCI’s Equity and Inclusion Program, which addresses cancer disparities and supports a diverse workforce across all NCI programs.
The $9.99 billion proposal represents a significant bump from $7.77 billion in 2023 and $7.61 billion in 2022.
“This Annual Plan and Budget Proposal describes the resources needed to ensure that the cancer research enterprise remains strong, delivers on the opportunities before us, and transforms what it means to have cancer,” NCI Director Doug Lowy, MD, said in a statement. “Because fundamental scientific discovery is the backbone of cancer research, we must make strong investments in investigator-initiated research aimed at unlocking cancer biology and increasing the pipeline of new, less toxic drugs for cancer prevention, interception, and treatment.”
The NCI released its proposed fiscal plan on Thursday, just days after President Joe Biden gave a speech on his Cancer Moonshot initiative, which aims to reduce the cancer death rate by half within 25 years and to “end cancer as we know it.”
The Cancer Moonshot has enabled the NCI to build infrastructure with the capability of sharing cancer data across the research community. With the addition of investment outlined in the 2024 budget, NCI will work to build on the success of the Cancer Moonshot initiative and continue to make progress toward Biden’s goal.
“By harnessing the incredible talent and dedication of the cancer research workforce, building on decades of scientific discovery, and taking advantage of today’s cutting-edge technology, we can truly transform what it means to have cancer so that far more people live longer, healthier lives,” Lowy said.
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