Federally Funded Cancer Research: Coordination and Innovation

Full House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Full House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Hearing Date: March 29, 2017 9:30 am 2154 Rayburn HOB

TAKEAWAYS:

  • Research funded by the National Cancer Institute has broad applications for many types of cancer, paving the way to advanced and accessible cancer treatments.
  • Modest investments early in the research process yield substantial long-term results.
  • Reducing National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding would negatively impact a generation of research and innovation.
  • The national cancer research infrastructure encourages collaboration that leads to innovative cancer treatments.
  • The Carr family and the ChadToughFoundation highlight the need for federal funding for rare pediatric brain cancers.

PURPOSE:

  • To review developments in research relating to curing certain cancers.
  • To discuss the national infrastructure that generates and facilitates cancer research, including coordination between the primary drivers of cancer research such as NIH, pharmaceutical companies, philanthropists, and nonprofits.

BACKGROUND:

  • The number of new cancer cases increased last year, and cancer caused deaths are expected to increase as the population ages.
  • Recent advances have yielded earlier detection mechanisms and tailored treatments for cancer patients, including progress in immunotherapy and combination therapies, single-cell genomic profiling of cancer cells, enhanced data sharing, and new approaches to treating pediatric cancers.
  • The panel will include prominent doctors and researchers who inform and guide the scientific direction and goals of many national initiatives, including the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative.

KEY VIDEOS:

National Security Subcommittee Chairman DeSantis (R-FL): “I think most of the members on this committee believe that what you guys are doing is very, very important. There’s a lot of different things we police waste on this committee–that’s kind of our job–there’s a lot in the government that we can point fingers at, but I think that this is one area where, clearly, the money that we’re putting in has the potential to really do a huge amount of good for people’s lives and, as we said that the beginning, for our nation’s fiscal solvency going forward.”

Rep. John Duncan (R-TN): “[I]’m a conservative Republican. I voted to cut about everything up here because, you know, we’ve got a $20 trillion debt… But I can tell you, I very much favor medical research and I appreciate the work that you all are doing.”

Rep. Gary Palmer (R-AL): “Are there any unnecessarily burdensome regulations from the FDA or other agencies that you think we could modify, change, correct, so that it doesn’t slow or restrict cancer research? . . . And one of my concerns is some of the impediments that the FDA puts there for people who want to make that choice, and rather than having to go to India to be able to get that treatment here and give them a fighting chance.”

Witnesses and testimonies

Name Title Organization Panel Document
Ms. Tammi Carr Mother of Chad Carr The ChadTough Foundation Document
Dr. Mary Beckerle, Ph.D. Chief Executive Officer and Director,Huntsman Cancer Institute University of Utah Medical School Document
Dr. Elizabeth Jaffee, M.D. Deputy Director, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center Johns Hopkins University Document
Dr. Tyler Jacks, Ph.D. Director, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research Massachusetts Institute of Technology Document