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Lung Cancer Alliance Hails New Federal Funding For Lung Cancer Research

Additional $15 Million Approved in the FY2010 Department of Defense Budget

Washington, DC [December 19, 2009] -- Today, the United States Congress approved an additional $15 million in research funding for lung cancer as part of the fiscal year 2010 Department of Defense (DOD) Appropriations package.  This brings the total to $35 million that Congress has appropriated to date for the new program since it was launched in October of last year. The bill will now be sent to the President for signature.

"This is another wonderful step forward in our efforts to see federal funding increased for lung cancer research.” said Laurie Fenton Ambrose, Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) President & CEO.  “We remain deeply grateful to Congressman John Murtha (D-PA), the Chairman of the House Defense Appropriations Committee and to Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI), who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee for their continued support and protection of this vitally important new research program and funding stream."

The first wave of research grants are about to be awarded under the new program which is being funded through the Department of Defense's Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program.

"With lung cancer research funding at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) still so low and actually dropping in proportion to lung cancer's mortality impact, our goal from the beginning has been not only to advocate for increases in NCI grant funding, but also to seek additional research pipelines for badly needed lung cancer research.” Fenton Ambrose continued.  “Ultimately we need a comprehensive and multi-agency strategy to fully address all aspects of this disease.  This program is a another step toward that goal.”

“Further,” said Fenton Ambrose, “I must again salute Admiral Phil Coady who, as Chairman of the Lung Cancer Alliance Board, met with Congressman Murtha last year on the need to create a new program that would not only fund more research for the benefit of all cancer patients, but also address the high risk of lung cancer among military men and women,” she said.

Admiral Coady died of lung cancer last summer, just a few months before Congress established the new program in law and appropriated the first $20 million.

In adding another $15 million yesterday, Congress reiterated its intention that the research program must be initiated with an early detection regimen at a Military Medical Treatment Center in the Washington DC area.

"The research carried out under this program will branch out to civilian centers as well and will benefit all patients and all those at high risk for the disease," she said.  “But Congress is making clear that it wants the program to start here first and we respect Congressional intent.” 

“We will continue to work with Congress to secure additional funding for this important new research pipeline, as well as others, to stimulate innovation and to change once and for all the outcomes of this lethal killer,” Fenton Ambrose concluded.