Congress considering cuts for cancer research

April 18, 2011 3:30:12 PM PDT
M.D. Anderson is world renown for saving lives and helping people recover from cancer. But officials say their efforts could be significantly impacted by a proposal to cut federal funding for research. Houston cancer researchers are worried about how potential federal budget cuts might impact cancer research. The government spent $1 billion on cancer research in Texas alone last year. M.D. Anderson is the largest recipient of federal dollars for cancer research in the country.

Officials at M.D. Anderson are worried that big cuts in research will cause delays that could costs lives. For example, doctors thought that Jason Connelly had only 10 days to live when he came in with stage 4 melanoma. But he's cancer free now after treatment at M.D. Anderson.

"I started crying and he said, 'Daddy why are you crying on the phone?' I said, 'Because I'm so happy.' He was four, so he didn't understand crying because you are happy," said Connelly. "He said, 'Why are you so happy? I said, 'Because daddy isn't sick anymore."

"Our plan is in the next five years to do the research and set up the procedures and processes so that we can carry out this kind of work for every patient that comes to M.D. Anderson. That is my goal," said Dr. John Mendelsohn, President of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Now to reach that goal the doctors are asking Congress to keep the funding at the same level it is now. Last week, the NIH budget which funds cancer research and other research was cut by one percent for this fiscal year. They fear bigger cuts will occur in September for the 2012 fiscal year.

Load Comments