Washington, D.C.,—Today the U.S. Senate released its FY 2021 spending bill that includes a $2 billion funding increase for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including a $282 million funding boost for the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The proposal also includes the Henrietta Lacks Enhancing Cancer Research Act aimed at improving access to cancer research clinical trials for underrepresented communities of color.
A statement from Lisa Lacasse, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) follows:
“ACS CAN greatly appreciates the Senate’s recognition and prioritization of much-needed resources to the NIH and NCI during this critical time. The coronavirus pandemic has only emphasized the importance of robust biomedical research funding in maintaining and improving our nation’s health.
“It has also made clear the need to reduce health care disparities, including enabling greater access to clinical trials for communities of color. The Henrietta Lacks Enhancing Cancer Research Act would focus on identifying and removing barriers that prevent underrepresented groups from participating in cancer clinical trials and we are glad to see it included in this proposal. Communities of color and other medically underserved groups continue to have higher cancer rates and are less likely to be diagnosed early or receive optimal treatment compared to other groups.
“We urge the Senate and House to consider broad research and prevention needs as they move ahead in this process and we look forward to working with them on a final appropriations agreement.”