The Connecticut Brain Tumor Alliance ("CTBTA") has joined forces with the National Brain Tumor Society ("NBTS") in a request to Congress, asking them to protect and prioritize research funding by the National Institute of Health (the "NIH"). The federal government, through NIH, is the largest funder of brain tumor research. The CTBTA, along with other brain tumor organizations, endorsed the NBTS letter to Congress which provides in pertinent part:
"Collectively, we represent and provide services to millions of Americans that care about fighting brain tumors. We help the approximately 688,000 patients with a brain tumor today and all those who may be diagnosed tomorrow through research, information, support and advocacy...
As a community fighting a disease with only a 34% five-year survival rate and only four (4) new therapies in the past thirty years, progress has been inadequate and slow. Brain tumors can strike anyone at any stage of life, and often bring significant and lasting adverse physical, developmental, and cognitive effects. There are no preventative tests or early detection tools. Changes in diet and lifestyle are not determinants of brain tumors. Research is key and there is hope in the form of new discoveries thanks to previous Congressional investment. For example, NIH funding from Congress has enabled The Cancer Genome Atlas to identify four new subtypes of glioblastoma multiforme, one of the most common and deadly forms of brain tumors. With this information and the breakthroughs happening in NIH-funded labs all over the country, we are getting closer every day to truly understanding this disease and how to conquer it.
On behalf of all of us including those in your states and hometowns, we ask for you to lead the way and ensure Congress' commitment and support of the brain tumor community by continuing to invest in NIH. Discretionary programs, like those at NIH, will already see $1.5 trillion squeezed from its budget through the Budget Control Act's discretionary caps. We cannot afford further cuts. NIH Director Francis Collins recently said that the 5.1 percent cut to NIH as part of sequestration would be a 'profound and devastating blow.' As the March 1 deadline for sequestration approaches, please ensure that this life-saving research continues by protecting NIH from further cuts."